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.
The COVAX global effort to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to underserved countries is well underway. But what needs to happen to get doses from airports to arms?
One answer is to train ordinary citizens in their local communities to vaccinate the millions of people in low-resource countries where doctors and nurses are scarce.
WiRED’s Community Health Workers (CHWs) in Kisumu, Kenya, continue to educate and strengthen their communities.
In the month of June, 12 WiRED CHWs reached a total of 5,101 people. Although COVID-19 remains an urgent focus, the CHWs addressed issues in their communities as diverse as malaria, nutrition, diabetes and drug abuse. Educating their communities on important steps to stop the spread of COVID-19, such as handwashing and bolstering the immune system, can have a positive impact on reducing other illnesses. This is perfectly illustrated by one of WiRED’s CHWs, who shares this example:
WiRED International launched the train-the-trainer portion of our Vaccinator Training Program (VTP) on July 6 when lead medical trainers in Kisumu, Kenya, connected by Zoom with medical professionals in Naguru, Uganda. A participant in Liberia also joined the session. The purpose of the three-day workshop was to prepare medical professionals to use WiRED’s VTP curriculum to train local vaccinators on how to distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccines scheduled to arrive later this year.
On July 4th, WiRED International’s volunteers and board celebrate along with millions of other Americans who have been fortunate enough to get their COVID-19 shots, and are now free from most restrictions faced last year at this time. We are reminded, however, that people in most of the countries we serve are still waiting for an opportunity to receive their shots, avoid the infection and get back to a normal life.
WiRED International is pleased to announce the establishment of the WiRED International Center for Community and Global Health at Claremont Graduate University (CGU). The WiRED Center is affiliated with CGU’s School of Community & Global Health (SCGH).
CGU President Len Jessup, Ph.D., said, “Our WiRED Center provides CGU students and faculty with incredible, unparalleled opportunities in global and community health all around the world, and WiRED’s expertise and programs have been vital during the pandemic in particular.”
WiRED International’s corps of trained community health workers (CHWs) continue to deliver vital healthcare services in Kisumu, Kenya, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, the Ministry of Health declared Kisumu to be the new hot spot for the virus, according to a recent news report.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), recognizing the health value of WiRED training material, is linking to WiRED International’s website and to WiRED’s web-based health education programs. In addition, UNODC will provide periodic newsletters announcing WiRED’s programs and new training modules. WiRED, in turn, will provide its readers and followers with updates on the UNODC drug prevention programs. Drug use and addiction have become global health problems, and WiRED recognizes the value of UNODC’s approach to educating people about the dangers of illegal drug use and possible strategies for addiction prevention.