Misinformation, rumors, and biases in Mali impede immunization against Covid-19. As per the Covid-19 daily update provided by health officials on June 8, 2022, 1,255,626 persons are fully vaccinated and 496,127 are not. Community Health Centre (Cscom) in Koulou, Bankass, has found a way to enhance Covid-19 immunization rates.
Thérèse Somboro, the Community Health Centre’s technical director, says Koulou has 6,711 people. Cscom health authorities have utilised contextualised communications to promote Covid-19 vaccination. “People are refusing to be vaccinated as they feared it paralysed and killed. So I gathered Asaco’s members and, with my co-workers, we decided to promote public awareness “Somboro Thérèse said.
Before being sensitised, only health staff were vaccinated. Due to their answer, 249 persons in this Bankass community were vaccinated against Covid-19.
First, urge individuals
Their campaign targeted vacationers and young migrants to Côte d’Ivoire. “If they don’t get immunized against Covid-19, they won’t be allowed to leave the country,” adds the Cscom director. This communication worked “Commuters and teens were immunised. Some vaccinated their whole family to prevent infection” Koulou Public Health Clinic head said.
It didn’t work for all. Many individuals said they never leave Mali, thus they didn’t need the Covid-19 vaccine.
Second method is to persuade
“Second, we’ve told everyone that no one may move without a vaccination certificate. Even individuals who conduct the weekly fair in neighbouring towns can’t visit without a Covid-19 card ” Somboro states. She says this second plan succeeded since the centre ran out of immunizations.
According to Asaco de Koulou President Hamidou Guindo, direct contact and word of mouth were employed. “I told the village leader about the vaccination and the necessity to vaccinate people. I spoke to them to persuade them. I told them to tell others.”
Adama Gana is a Mali-Côte d’Ivoire traveller “I didn’t acquire the Covid-19 vaccination when I heard about it. But if I don’t get a vaccination, I can’t go. I got Covid-19 vaccine.”
Diakardia Guindo, a villager, said: “I got the vaccine because I learned about the epidemic. I knew we needed to be vaccinated to avert a serious pandemic.”
These remedies are successful, but Cscom can’t vaccinate everyone against Covid-19. Cscom lacks social communication professionals to adjust its education in a shifting sociocultural setting. A significant difficulty is ensuring the authenticity of incentive communications for mass immunization against Covid-19 in rural Mali.