Meet WiRED International’s newest Board members! WiRED is pleased to announce the appointment of the following people to its Board: Gray Maganga, a hospital project director; Santiago Castellón, executive director of a nonprofit; and Emily Bardo, a veterinarian. The talents, expertise and enthusiasm that this trio brings to the organization will enhance the reach and success of WiRED’s mission.
With a health issue like COVID-19, we all like a linear story: There’s a killer virus out there, but we’ve found a vaccine that stops it cold in an individual, and when enough of us get the vaccine, the virus fades away and we all return to life, liberty and our pursuit of happiness.
That isn’t the COVID-19 story, though. It’s a dangerous virus, where some people get sick, some die and some never feel a thing. There are remarkable vaccines, but they have a sliding scale of effectiveness, and then they attenuate, and so we’ll need a booster to keep the virus from breaking through. Then some people who get sick from COVID-19 get well and seem protected, but then ill health effects return. These long-haulers are a mystery. Don’t even ask about the variants where the first COVID-19 was bad, but some of the follow-ups are worse by spreading faster and making people sicker.
When WiRED International’s Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Kisumu, Kenya, graduated early in 2020 nobody could have foreseen that they would soon have to defend their communities from a global pandemic. WiRED’s CHWs continue to witness firsthand the effects of COVID-19 on their communities and the impact the pandemic is having not only on health but on businesses, jobs, schools and daily life. As fully trained vaccinators, thanks to WiRED’s Vaccinator Training Program (VTP), WiRED’s CHWs now stand ready to further support their communities by working with local doctors and nurses to distribute and administer vaccines as soon as they arrive.
WiRED International has run a number of articles on this website about our Vaccinator Training Program, but as we get closer to the day COVAX distributes vaccines, our concerns are growing about the availability of qualified staff in underserved countries to move the vaccines, set up shot clinics and administer the vaccinations. We recognize that agencies supplying vaccines have not prepared for the shortage of vaccination teams, so to avoid vaccines spoiling in warehouses we’re stepping up our efforts to reach out to regional health agencies and to donors for assistance with this vaccinator training program. So far, we have successfully trained medical teams in Kenya, Uganda and Liberia and funded this with small donations. We are asking our supporters to circulate the following statement (in PDF form here and at the end of the article) about our Vaccinator Training Program with the aim of reaching larger donors to make this program available across Africa, Latin America and beyond.
COVID-19 vaccines are finally being delivered in Africa — but few jabs are being administered. Why? Unfortunately, the current global emphasis rests on purchasing vaccines instead of training vaccinators.
A recent Claremont Graduate University (CGU) news article, “New Paper Identifies ‘Citizen Vaccinators’ as the Solution to Pandemic Challenges in Many Nations,” draws attention to WiRED’s Vaccinator Training Program (VTP) as detailed in the latest publication of the Journal of Southern California Clinicians.