A high-level mission of the Global Partnership for Vaccine Delivery against Covid-19, an initiative launched by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Gavi, has just visited Cameroon.
The UN launched this mission at a time when the country is organising the fifth vaccination campaign against Covid-19 (18-27 November 2022). This initiative is welcomed by Cameroon’s partners, who believe that vaccination is the only way to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on public health and the national economy.
In Cameroon, only 5% of the total population is vaccinated more than a year after the launch of the campaign on 12 April 2021, according to data from the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI). This figure is far from the global objective of fully vaccinating at least 10% of the population of each country before 30 September 2021. “We vaccinate especially when we are in a situation of calm, when we know the risk and that this risk is very harmful to health, society, the economy, etc.,” says Dr Shalom Tchokfe Ndoula, permanent secretary of the EPI.
“When we were facing this pandemic at the beginning, we had no other solution than barrier measures. Societies almost came to a halt, many economies experienced shocks. Cameroon was not left behind. In this phase of economic recovery, vaccination should be an approach that allows us not to find ourselves tomorrow having to close down the economy, having to be “stopped”. Hence the reason to be prepared with a significant coverage,” said Dr Landry Tsague, Senior Health Advisor at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Office to the African Union (AU) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and member of the mission. The latter was speaking to this effect at a press briefing held on Thursday 17 November in Yaounde.
“When we weigh the risk we run if we do not reach a certain level of immunity against the possibility and opportunity that the campaign offers to achieve the result we want, we would not hesitate to be vaccinated first for ourselves, then for our loved ones and finally for our country,” he adds, stressing that vaccination is not a new intervention in Cameroon and that it has helped to reduce many diseases.