The Indian Ocean island nation started its Covid-19 vaccination campaign on Monday. And among the first to be inoculated at Antananarivo, was Jean Louis Hanitrala Rakotovao, the Health Minister.
Last year, the world witnessed Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina launching a medicine he believed was the cure for COVID-19, the COVID-Organics.
Although, the president has been criticized and warned by WHO for his handling of the pandemic, the nation continues to take steps forward. On Saturday, 250,000 AstraZeneca jabs were shipped into the island.
Despite the introduction of COVID-Organics last year, and down to this point it hasn’t been an easy journey curbing the disease in Madagascar. So far, the level of infections have led to the transformation of community centers into treatment facilities including schools.
MADAGASCAR’S COVID-19 VACCINATION DRIVE
In April, President Rajoelina announced that Sinopharm, Pfizer, and Covishield vaccines would also be used in the country’s vaccination drive.
In Hanitra Lovasoa Rasoarimalala’s words, a civil servant after being vaccinated:
“I’ll be back for the second dose, I’m already ready for it. I encourage people to get vaccinated because it is good to fight against the coronavirus. Many people are infected and have died from this disease.”
And according to the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Madagascar, Issa Sanogo:
“Our message is that people should be vaccinated. But it is voluntary.”
“We can’t force anyone. The president is part of the population, so it is his right to accept or not to accept to be vaccinated, but vaccination is available for everyone,” he added.
Looking at the numbers, Madagascar has registered 38,874 infections with at least 716 deaths cases.
By Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.