The race against COVID-19: Outpacing the pandemic for children in Senegal

Outpacing the pandemic for children in Senegal

UNICEF Senegal/2022/Vincent Tremeau


The race against COVID-19: Outpacing the pandemic for children in Senegal

For many, recalling Senegal’s first COVID-19 case feels like a lifetime ago, and the subsequent months a blur. But certain moments stand out in sharp relief for me, as if they were yesterday. I remember the heavy, sinking feeling as I recognized the innumerable and inevitable effects the pandemic would have on all, and in particular children and vulnerable families across the country. And I remember realizing that despite our hopes and plans, this new crisis would define the year and reset priorities for several years to come.

Senegal is still racing to contain the pandemic and mitigate its harshest impacts on vulnerable children. Across the country, families have lost loved ones, livelihoods and assets, plans and imagined futures. But we also confirmed our connectedness as humans, our resilience in communities and our ability to share lessons across the globe. We have supported COVID-19 vaccination and reinforced capacities to deliver essential services for children such as health, nutrition, education, protection and water, hygiene and sanitation, safely. We also witnessed unprecedented global solidarity to tackle the epidemic and have fostered more inclusive participation of all actors including Youth, the Private Sector and Civil Society in the emergency response.

Although hard hit – Senegal continues to fare better than many countries globally. UNICEF is proud to have played a key role in the extraordinary efforts made to protect the most vulnerable. The country has become a model for other countries in terms of early planning in oxygen therapies, as well as in risk communication and social mobilization led by adolescents and youth.

It has been a privilege for UNICEF to accompany the Government of Senegal through this multi-year marathon – balancing disruption with innovation, loss with gratitude and hope for the future. It is clear that Senegal is not only adapting but transforming through the pandemic. I am certain that our collective efforts are building the foundation for a better, more resilient and more equitable future. A future in which every girl and boy, woman and man in Senegal are better protected not only against COVID-19, but against the next epidemic or emergency. Because kids don’t stop growing… even as the world stands still.

In the spirit of good partnership

Silvia Danailov, UNICEF Representative


UNICEF Senegal
Publication date