Since the initiation of the Vaccination Access Network (VAN) Program, there has been a remarkable upward trend in vaccination uptake within the program areas of Turkana County (Turkana Central and Loima Sub County), the number of individuals opting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine has consistently increased from January up to the present. This positive development can be attributed to several factors, including program activities such as sensitization efforts, capacity building of healthcare workers, community influence through leaders and the strategic implementation of outreaches to bring vaccines closer to the people.
Bringing Vaccines to the People through outreaches
One of the crucial strategies employed by PanAfriacre to drive vaccination uptake is vaccination through outreaches. These outreaches serve as mobile hospitals, often set up under trees, where individuals can conveniently access COVID-19 vaccines. By leveraging existing social functions such as barazas (community meetings), health camps and church gatherings, PanAfricare has successfully increased vaccination numbers. These outreach initiatives have proven to be effective in breaking down barriers to access by bringing vaccines directly to the communities.
Community influencers catalyzing change
Another pivotal aspect contributing to the success of the VAN Program is the active involvement of community influencers, including administrative officers, religious leaders and opinion leaders. Through community dialogues, these influencers have played a vital role in explaining the importance of vaccination to their respective communities.
By acting as role models and getting vaccinated in front of their communities, they have helped dispel any prevailing myths or misconceptions. Their influential presence and endorsement have instilled trust and confidence in the vaccination process.
About VAN Project
The Vaccination Action Network (VAN) project is supported by Rockefeller Foundation through AMREF-Kenya with an aim to increase demand and access to Covid-19 vaccination through Local Implementation in Makueni and Turkana County.
The initiative seeks to create awareness among community members on the importance of getting vaccinated against Covid-19 and to mobilize resources to support the county’s health systems in delivering the vaccine.
To achieve this, PanAfricare-Kenya has engaged with local community leaders and resource persons, healthcare workers, and other stakeholders to sensitize on the benefits of vaccination and create demand for vaccination.