“I am so happy that I got vaccinated against COVID-19. I feel safe now”, says 65-year old Clementina Kaku. Kaku is among the thousands of internally-displaced who settled in Mangalla IDP Camp after their communities got flooded two years ago.
“I have lost hope of going back to the island with my family. The water levels kept rising and the displacement got worse”, she adds.
She recently got vaccinated in the camp. “It is good to be healthy and protected than from the virus and hunger. I encourage my neighbours to avail of the vaccine as life is precious”, she says.
“On my way to the farm, I met a woman who was vaccinated, is alive and healthy. So I doubted the rumors about the vaccines”, she said. Many people fear that the vaccine can make them infertile or even kill them.
Through the CORE Group Polio Project (CGPP) being supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the COVID-19 vaccination was undertaken in the IDP camp.
On my way to the farm, I met a woman who was vaccinated, is alive and healthy. So I doubted the rumors about the vaccines.
An awareness campaign using mobilizers and local leaders were conducted to inform the people of the importance of the COVID-19 vaccines. This was later intensified and resulted in the vaccination of 289 people, or an average of 40 people per day.
“I learned more about the virus, its dangers and the importance of the vaccine. I was the last to be vaccinated, I wanted to see people’s reaction to the”, says Kaku who also encouraged her grandchildren.
Jada Noel, the Supervisor for Juba County said there is still a need to campaign and dispel the myths and misconceptions about COVID-19 vaccines in South Sudan.
Noel adds, “Many communities did not get a chance within the first and second phases of the vaccination due to difficult access.” Kaku appealed to health authorities to bring the services closer to communities wi and ensure that medicines are available for treatment of diseases.
World Vision’s CORE Group Polio Project is implemented in partnership with Support for Peace and Education Development Programme (SPEDP) and Organization for Peoples’ Empowerment and Needs (OPEN).
Story and photos by Jemima Tumalu, Communications Officer