Malaria has plagued humankind from Neolithic times to the modern day. Now, with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) approval of the first vaccine to prevent malaria, there is hope to drastically reduce the numbers of cases and deaths from this ancient disease.
Throughout Africa, and in nearly all low-income regions around the world, community health workers (CHWs) augment the professional medical corps by offering critical medical and public health services. They provide community health education, basic clinical services, health surveillance, mother and child assistance and much more.
Early in 2020. WiRED International inaugurated our CHW Training Program to teach local people in Kisumu, Kenya, about health basics, patient assessment, clinical issues, health teaching and monitoring.
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.
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 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’s corps of trained community health workers (CHWs) continue to deliver vital healthcare services in Kisumu, Kenya, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
During three weeks in March, 12 CHWs reached 4,533 people with basic clinical services, health education and health surveillance. The CHWs were not able to assist as many people as is usual in a month because all 12 workers also completed WiRED’s Vaccinator Training Program (VTP).