With only 400 active Covid-19 vaccination sites set up across South Africa, and under 1% of the country fully vaccinated during a brutal third wave, the government wants to dramatically ramp up vaccines.
In a move to fast-track the establishment of vaccination centres, health NGO Right to Care, higher education institution, the Foundation for Professional Development, and USAID have joined forces to offer a free course for healthcare and allied professionals, to set up an ideal Covid-19 vaccination centre.
The four-module course is delivered virtually, is CPD-accredited and involves eight hours of learning.
Disaster medicine consultant for Right to Care, Theo Ligthelm, explains, “The purpose is to equip healthcare professionals and other role players with the necessary knowledge and problem-solving capabilities to rapidly set up vaccination centres.”
The country’s vaccination target of 60-70% of the population is critical to reach population immunity, curb the spread of the Covid-19 and prevent severe disease and death. “There is a desperate need to upscale the vaccination campaign. More sites with full capability to safely vaccinate millions of people need to be set up as a matter of urgency,” says Ligthelm. “Vaccines are also critical to relieve the heavy burden faced by healthcare workers at facilities.”
Right to Care CEO, Professor Ian Sanne, says, “Rural areas are worse off. It is an urgent priority to address access to vaccinations by taking ideal mobile vaccination sites to remote communities, particularly where there are high numbers of deaths. Many remote areas in South Africa are completely underserved with very poor health infrastructure.”
About the course
Ligthelm explains that, “When planning a vaccination site there are two critical aspects. Firstly, training on how to administer the vaccine, and secondly, the organisation and planning of the site.
“Our ‘How to set up an ideal Covid-19 vaccination site’ course will provide healthcare facility workers and planners with the necessary knowledge and background on how to set up a vaccine site; what to keep in mind when selecting a site; planning the flow through the facility; and the human resources required. It also highlights the issues that crop up and gives insights on how to address these.
“The course is relevant for all healthcare and related staff involved with selecting and setting up a site, irrespective of which vaccine is being administered and where the site is being established.”
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