The authorities in charge of Covid-19 vaccines for children implementation in Musanze District say that they are struggling to raise the awareness of parents and children between the ages of 5-11 about this program by talking to them about the importance of Vaccines and the benefits of vaccinating children.
This was to journalists who are members of ABASIRWA an organisation fight against AIDS and other diseases during a visit Musanze in Gashaki sectors to observe the implementing measures to prevent and fight against the pandemic of COVID-19.
Daniel Birikunzira, the Headmaster of GS St Michel Ntarama says that at the beginning of this program they have faced with the problem that there are parents who do not understand the reason for the Covid-19 vaccines, especially for children.
He said: “When we started the activity of giving children Covid-19 vaccines, there were a number of parents who did not understand it well, so we faced this problem in collaboration with the Gashaki Health Center and the sector institutions by inviting a General Assembly of parents. , we clearly explain to them the reason for the vaccine of COVID-19 that it is for everyone, especially for students. For that reason, to raise their awareness, there is no problem we are facing now.”
Birikunzura continued by saying that they vaccinate children who are struggling with Covid-19 by talking to parents on the phone by raising awareness and explaining to them about the decision to fill in the children’s profiles and sign them to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
He said, “When we started to vaccine the childlen for the first time, there was a decision that we had by sending the parent a consent form and talking to him on the phone, and then he signs the child’s profile. So when he signs, it allows us to protect him, while there were parents who had a low level of understanding and saw the form and didn’t fill it in.
Barimenshi Léonard, who is in charge of keeping the information of the operation to give children Covid-19 vaccines, explains how it started, those who had to be protected against Covid-19 will raise the awareness of parents.
He said: “How this operation started, we entered the schools from the upper grades down. The number of those we had to protect was 315 people. We protected them all after raising the awareness of the parents who were taught and understood because they were explained the reasons for vaccinating children and vaccine effectiveness.”
On the other hand, Gilbert, director of the Musanze Health Center, says that they are fighting against Covid-19 by raising the awareness of parents through dialogue.
He said: “In order to respond to the problem of those who are not vaccinated, we give lectures on the benefits of taking the Covid-19 vaccine at least three times a week with the aim of raising the awareness of some parents who were sending their children to receive the vaccine due to a lack of understanding of this program.”
G.S St Michel Ntarama has more than 1200 students, children studying in P4 to P6 have all been given the COVID 19 vaccine, 315 students in Pre-primary and Lower primary have been vaccinated against COVID 19 and 90 have not been vaccinated.
Since the beginning of COVID-19, 62270 patients have been treated. Those who received the 1st dose of Covid-19 vaccine are 38283, those who received the 2nd dose are 20131, those who are given the 3rd dose are 2868 and those who are given the 4th dose are 1033.
By Carine Kayitesi