Just in these days has begun the vaccination campaign against Covid at the hospital of Saint Luke of Wolisso, Ethiopia. After the start of vaccinations in Addis Ababa, the first doses arrived at the hospital in Wolisso, 120 kilometres from the capital: the goal is to vaccinate healthcare personnel in the forefront of addressing the different health emergencies for a reference population of over one million people. This is crucial given that, in the last month, there has unfortunately been a significant increase in positive cases, including some very serious, throughout the country.
“About 500 doses have arrived and they will be necessary to vaccinate all hospital staff, from doctors to cleaning staff – says Alberto Puccini, JPO in Internal Medicine in Wolisso –. The increase in cases over the last month has given a very strong boost to vaccinations of health workers here in Ethiopia. In fact, doctors and operators, witnessing the increase in cases even among colleagues, have better understood the importance of vaccination. The head nurse and the other nurses decided to get their shot at our first suggestion and they were very happy to have the chance to do it. I explained to them the possible side effects, so they didn’t get scared if they get a fever. To date 240 people have been vaccinated and we continue to visit the wards in order to remember the staff the opportunity of getting their vaccination”.
There is still much to do in Ethiopia, as well as throughout Africa: we need a concrete vaccination plan and we need more doses. The intervention of Doctors with Africa CUAMM aims to support local health services that were already fragile before the pandemic, and that are now even more at risk because of the virus. Health care workers are the heart of our intervention: they must be protected and trained, so that they continue to ensure all the communities safe deliveries, visits and all the essential health services.