The Liberia National Red Cross (LNRC)has for the past two weeks joined forces with the Ministry of Health and its partners in administering measles, polio and de-worming vacinations to over 600,000 children from zero to 5 years old across the country.
Speaking Tuesday at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing on Capitol Hill, Red Cross secretary general Fayiah Tamba said LNRC has been involved in transporting the vaccination teams to remote villages to adminster the measles vaccine to ensure that the targeted number of children are fully vaccinated.
“In some counties, including River Cess, Gbarpolu, Grand Gedeh, Cape Mount and Bomi, we supported the county health teams in reaching remote towns and villages due to the importance of the measles vaccine for the children and the country at large,” he stressed.
More than 3,130 Red Cross volunteers were active in various communities, providing information on the immunization campaign and addresing concerns and misinformation about the vaccinations in those communities.
“Our volunteers were also involved in active case search of unimmunized children and encouraging mothers to take their children under five to the nearest vaccination points. During the process, a total of 2000 children whose parents or guardains could not take them to be vaccinated were identified by the active case searchers and transported for vaccination,” he explained.
Mr. Tamba further stated that some mothers had planned to stay away from the vaccination campaign due to their farming activities and also the fear that their children would be used for testing of the Ebola trial vaccine. But the volunteers were able to explain the importance of the measles vaccine and convince mothers to have their children vaccinated.
The SG further discosed that the 3,130 volunteers deployed for this campaign were able to reach more than 500,000 community dwellers through one to one visits, excluding mass awareness sessions in market and worship places.
The Liberia National Red Cross Society has a unique ability to provide social mobilization across Liberia’s fifteen counties and has trained volunteers in each county to mobilize quickly to provide critical information to communities.