The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the Mastercard Foundation have launched a Covid-19 vaccination campaign in Southern Africa under the Saving Lives and Livelihoods project.
The Saving Lives and Livelihood is a $1.5 billion partnership between the foundation and the Africa CDC designed to purchase Covid-19 vaccines for nearly 65 million people, enable vaccine delivery and administration, develop a workforce to support continental vaccine manufacturing, and strengthen the Africa CDC.
It is understood that the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative has so far enabled over six million people in Africa to access Covid-19 vaccines, while helping to accelerate vaccine uptake in countries facing the risk of mass vaccine expiration.
‘We have gathered here today to kick off the Saving Lives and Livelihoods Covid-19 vaccine acceleration programme in Southern Africa’s ten countries, as well as to celebrate our partnership with Africa CDC and the Mastercard Foundation’, Zambia’s President, Hakainde Hichilema, said in a statement.
The programme, it was gathered, is currently operating or supporting a total of 174 mobile vaccination sites in Zambia, including deploying vaccinators, data entry clerks, and community mobilisers.
The new phase of the project is expected to reach Namibia, Lesotho, Malawi, and Botswana.
‘Our ambitious target is to vaccinate 70 percent of the African population by the end of 2022’, the Acting Director General of c, Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, stated.
‘As of 10 November, 2022, the overall coverage is 25.2 percent of people fully vaccinated. Most countries have coverage below 30 percent (total population) – compared to a global average of 60 percent.
As for the President and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation, Reeta Roy, Africa’s public health workforce needs expansion support.
‘It is important that we get behind African public health institutions and support the expansion of Africa’s public health workforce – two key pillars of the New Public Health Order for Africa, which are mirrored in the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative’, Roy said in the statement.
‘Moving forward, we will accelerate our work on these priorities to enable economic resilience across Africa’.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect lives and livelihoods in Africa. According to the World Bank, each month of delay in effective vaccine deployment costs Africa $13.8 billion in lost GDP.
In contrast, faster vaccine deployment would boost continental growth to 5.1 percent in 2022 and 5.4 percent in 2023, as containment measures are eased and spending increases.
Photo source: Mastercard Foundation