By Shadrack Musumba
The Health Nongovernmental Organizations Network (HENNET), CEO Dr.
Mercy Onsando has lauded the government for early procurement of the vaccine.
She said the Health Civil Societies Organizations (CSOs) in Kenya have developed a COVID-19 response plan anchored on the Kenya National 2019 Novel Coronavirus Contingency Plan 2020, a strategic guide for health CSOs engagement in COVID-19 response.
“During the vaccine period the role of CSOs cannot be overlooked. This is because civil society has long been a leader and key contributor to successes in advancing health outcomes and this vast and varied experience must be leveraged for COVID-19 vaccine. During the prevention of COVID 19 period the CSOs have been proactive by sensitizing the communities, providing nutrition, policy influence, provision of handwashing soap, defending human rights among other actions. Though. N corruption has really disturbed us. During the COVID-19 vaccine process the CSOs will carry on with their roles,” she said.
She said CSOs will share information in order to build citizen ownership and sustainability of the vaccine intervention and share vaccine information with communities indicating the value of the vaccine and encourage the community to seek the service for it is for their good and good of the country at large.
As the CSOs disseminate the information, it will demystify and ensure eradication of misinformation which is likely to make the process fail.
This comes when it has been the talk of the town that the AstraZeneca vaccine is meant to make the consumer of the vaccine be members of the demonic group popularly known as Illuminati.
CSOs intend to help in identifying barriers that might hinder success and bringing citizens’ voices to relevant policymakers to systematically address such barriers.
CSOs intend to help identify barriers that might hinder success of the process and bring citizens’ voices to relevant policymakers to systematically address such barriers.
According to Dr. Onsando, the CSOs will support Health service provision and implementation by introducing and scaling up evidence-based solutions and reaching the most vulnerable during the COVID 19 vaccine process and conduct research & analysis of data COVID 19 process.
“Monitor and hold the government and other development leaders accountable. The government should ensure that citizens’ rights are observed during this process and also ensure that the vaccines are used appropriately and that no one is left behind. Our hope is that this process will not violate human rights and that there shall be transparent and corrupt practices will not be given room. For example we do not expect the vaccines to be used to make money from the citizens,” she said.
She added that CSOs will offer technical assistance that will be achieved by supporting decision-makers to implement plans and policies complementing and enhancing the government’s work, donors and private sector.
She also urged the government through the ministry of health to publicize its COVID-19 vaccine process, commodity sources, budget used in securing and administering the vaccine which will go a mile counter corruption and wastage of the vaccine.