The teams have been mobilized to ensure that every child in every village has been vaccinated
For the past 4 years, Ladislas Angouo, the Laboratory Manager at the Lambaréné Urban Centre, has been supporting the Intensified Vaccination Activities (IVA) in Moyen-Ogooué
For the past 4 years, Ladislas Angouo, the Laboratory Manager at the Lambaréné Urban Centre, has been supporting the Intensified Vaccination Activities (IVA) in Moyen-Ogooué. This year, he supervised a team of moving vaccinators in the Chad-Lambaréné region. He is a naturally enthusiastic person and he encouraged his unit to keep going to make sure that all the areas were covered. During this period, health staff in the various health facilities were mobilised to ensure that the vaccination campaigns ran smoothly. Ladislas left the comfort of his office and accompanied the teams door-to-door in the town of Albert Schweitzer and the surrounding villages. The UNICEF team followed him.
Ladislas and his team walked no less than 20 km every day. They had one goal: to make the 2023 AVI campaign a success. Every vaccination campaign is unique, and this year, in the wake of the COVID crises, the challenges were even greater. However, despite the reduced number of staff, the remaining vaccinators did a remarkable job of reducing the resistance shown by some parents to the vaccination program. Many had prejudices against vaccines because of misinformation.
Ladislas' main asset is his training as a biologist, which has enabled him to raise parents' awareness of the risks of poor vaccination coverage. He has also developed effective arguments based on the responsibility and commitment of parents to avoid the spread of the virus, because "even if only one person is unvaccinated, they can infect everyone else and this can trigger an epidemic”. His role was to explain and prevent cases of IVD (Undesirable Post-Vaccine Events) and to support the Social Mobilisation Officer (MOS) in his interventions. To put it simply, he tried to reassure mothers so that they didn't panic about the reactions their babies might have to receiving a dose of Pentavac. "First and foremost, it's important to remember that not all children react in the same way. The most common side effects are loss of appetite, a fever of 38°C or more, and swelling and irritation in the vaccinated area. Generally, after 48 hours, the child's behaviour returns to normal. To alleviate these effects, we give parents paracetamol, which they should give their children as a preventive measure.
On the ground, the vaccines are stored in optimal conditions. Each vaccine is kept at the correct temperature in a compartmentalized and insulated cooler. Used syringes are systematically disposed of in a special waste bin, and every precaution is taken to ensure that no accidents occur.
By the 8th day of the AVI campaign, Ladislas and his team had reached 70% of their target. To achieve this, the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) adopted a strategy based on a quota of children vaccinated per team, i.e. no fewer than 10 per day.