COVID-19 vaccination programme kicks off in Mali
31st March 2021 – Bamako: Mali has today rolled out her vaccination programme against COVID-19 in Bamako, with the 396,000 doses of the vaccines provided to the country under the COVAX Facility. The programme was officially launched by the Minister for Health Dr. Fanta Siby at the University Hospital (Point G) in the capital Bamako, and in the presence of Dr Ibrahim Traore, the President’s Special Advisor/Minister on the fight against COVID-19.
Dr. Fanta Siby who presided over the launch programme was first to be inoculated, followed by the WHO and UNICEF Representatives respectively. The Secretary General of the Health Ministry, the President of the Scientific Community in Mali as well as the Director of the Point G Hospital also took their turn, and each received their first dose.
Dr Fanta Siby, Minister for Health reminded everyone present that the “vaccination is one of the safest ways to prevent COVID-19”. This first phase begins in the capital Bamako where the two rounds of vaccination is scheduled to be completed before the programme is continued in the other regions.
WHO Representative in Mali, Dr Jean Pierre Baptiste explained that " With the launch of vaccination against Covid-19 this Wednesday March 31, 2021, Mali is making an important step in the fight against this pandemic. Millions of Malian lives will be saved through this initiative” he reassured everyone.
Dr Jean Pierre Baptiste also said that an estimated 4,222,400 people, including 844,480 health workers will be given priority during the vaccination campaign. He hoped that everyone would adhere to the vaccination campaign in Mali and he encouraged everyone to get vaccinated.
Sylvie Fouet, UNICEF Representative in Mali addressed the impact of COVID-19 “beyond the health consequences” saying that “we look at the socio-economic impact, including the protection of children and women who are now more at risk of violence.” She reiterated the enormous benefit of vaccination against COVID-19 but also stressed that “No one is safe until we are all protected” and that only a large-scale vaccination programme will ensure collective immunity to make the disease rarer and save lives. She acknowledged and thanked GAVI as well as the government of Canada, whose support has been used to procure and install 5 cold rooms and 1051 solar-powered refrigerators in health centres around the country, as a way of complementing the storage capacity for the vaccines.
Alongside the Government, COVAX partners WHO and UNICEF, the vaccination launch ceremony was attended by H.E Dennis B. Hankins U.S. Ambassador to Mali, and a representative of USAID.
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