In the economic capital of Douala, a campaign against malaria was officially initiated by the Ministry of Public Health, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). The initiative aims to combat the prevalence of malaria in the region, emphasizing preventive measures through vaccination.
However, despite the critical nature of the campaign, the initial phase encountered challenges as there was a noticeable lack of engagement. The designated vaccination center in the city’s 3rd district, specifically at the Japoma health center, reported low attendance, particularly from women. Many of those approached cited a lack of information about the campaign launch as the reason for their absence.
Whether attributed to a strategic oversight or a communication gap, it appears that parents are hesitant to allow their children to participate in the vaccination program. In the streets of Douala, a significant number of women expressed their disagreement with the administration of the vaccine to their children.
The situation suggests that authorities may need to reconsider their outreach strategies and communication channels to bridge the information gap. It is crucial to address the concerns and misconceptions surrounding the vaccination campaign to ensure wider participation and acceptance among the local population.
Despite the initial hurdles, the authorities remain committed to intensifying their efforts to raise awareness and educate more families about the benefits of the malaria vaccine. The goal is to encourage parents to overcome reservations and bring their children to the designated vaccination centers in the coming days.
The success of the campaign hinges on effective communication, community engagement, and dispelling any misconceptions that may be hindering the initial response. Joel Honoré Kouam reports for Africanews on the ongoing efforts to combat malaria in Douala.
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