|News for PrayerPartner with us in prayerFriday 30 April|
Today is the final day of World Immunisation Week (24-30 April). It’s a week that the World Health Organization (WHO) employed to ‘show how vaccination connects us to the people, goals and moments that matter to us most, helping improve the health of everyone, everywhere throughout life.’With 3,128,962 people having died from COVID-19 (WHO figures, 28 April 2021), it’s hardly surprising that many men, women and children are praising God for the various vaccines protecting people of all ages from a variety of diseases.
Although immunisation saves millions of lives every year, millions of children are still not getting the vaccines they need, with many missing out during adolescence, adulthood and into old age.
To mark the end of World Immunisation Week, we’d like to share some stories showing how MAF has been instrumental in delivering vital vaccines.
Coronavirus vaccines (COVAX)
As the UN-backed COVAX inoculation programme slowly rolls out across developing countries, MAF continues to play its part in transporting the coronavirus vaccine to some of the remotest places on earth.
Having delivered several boxes of the life-saving jab to three separate locations in Kalimantan, Indonesia on 15 February, we’re continuing to offer our support to the vaccine rollout. Of the 142 countries due to be supplied with the COVID-19 vaccine under the COVAX programme, 19 are served by MAF.
On 23 March, MAF Pilot Grant Strugnell transported the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the mountainside clinic of Kuebunyane, Lesotho – an area comprised of several rural villages with a combined population of more than 62,000 people. The vaccines were accompanied by three nurses who were responsible for administering the jab to fellow health workers.
Watch Grant in action »Three days later, we delivered vaccines to Matsaile, another mountainside clinic in Lesotho – one that is equally difficult to reach overland.
That same month, we flew UNICEF’s Sacha Westerbeek to a refugee camp in Yumbe, Uganda, to oversee the COVAX rollout.
Measles in Madagascar
Measles is one of the world’s most contagious diseases. In 2018, the situation in Madagascar was severe. Hundreds of children perished, and the level of vaccination coverage was low, enabling the disease to spread rapidly.
MAF Madagascar began measles related flying in September that year. The government, along with several NGOs, initiated a campaign in which seven million children were to be vaccinated. (A level of 94% vaccination coverage is vital to be able to prevent future outbreaks.)
In March and April 2019, we carried more than 8,000kg of vaccinations, syringes, cotton wool and related equipment to complete the vaccination campaign in a number of isolated villages. Some 50,000 children benefitted from the campaign.
Polio in Papua New Guinea (PNG)
In 2018, PNG saw 3.1 million children under the age of 15 being vaccinated during a nationwide polio campaign that took place in 22 provinces, with MAF playing a vital role by flying health workers into remote villages like Tsendiap.
According to UNICEF PNG, this was the largest polio vaccination campaign to be implemented in the country. The campaign, which will help prevent further polio outbreaks, mobilised more than 9,000 health workers and volunteers.
Please prayFor an end to the spread of polio, measles, coronavirus and other preventable diseases.For a continued commitment from governments throughout the world to provide their population with high levels of vaccination.For MAF’s medical partners as they go the extra mile to reach remote communities with their vaccination campaigns. Pray particularly for the upcoming COVID-19 vaccination rollout in 142 countries.