By Duncan Mboyah
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is using mobile phones in promoting vaccination of youths against Covid-19 in Kenya.
Ms. Maniza Zaman, UNICEF Representative to Kenya said that the innovation dubbed as YUNITOK is used in sending messages to and from young people about COVID-19 and vaccination.
“Over six weeks, we sent and received more than 300,000 text messages to and from young people,” Ms. Zaman said during a meeting on health promotion during and beyond Covid-19 in Nairobi.
Ms. Zaman said that the campaign has led several thousand young people reporting for vaccination against Covid-19.
The UN official observed many youths reported helping family or community members get vaccinated.
She noted that there is a need for a collective response by various health experts and practitioners to keep reminding the public that Covid-19 is still a killer virus hence the need to be vaccinated.
Ms. Zaman noted that together with the Ministry of Health they organized a national event last December, where 10,000 people were vaccinated.
She urged health stakeholders to focus on suppressing the transmission, reducing morbidity and reducing mortality of cases caused by Covid-19.
The UN official urged stakeholders to work with community health volunteers in informal settlements and hard to reach areas to help encourage people to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
She revealed that UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) are supporting the Ministry of Health in developing a strategic plan on risk communication and community engagement, community engagement, rumor tracking and management.
Ms. Zaman observed that despite the drawback caused by Covid-19, stakeholders must adopt a collective and innovative effort to help meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.