Every day, InterAction Members are working all over the world to combat poverty and alleviate suffering.
As a platform for advocacy and engagement, InterAction features their most recent updates, blogs, and reports that highlight their new and ongoing efforts. This page is updated weekly. This week, we’re spotlighting our Members’ response to COVID-19.
MARCH 1-8 MEDIA ALERT
PATH: What is COVAX?
Five key questions and answers on the global initiative to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to billions of people. More HERE.
PATH: Simplifying The Vaccine Cost Equation
PATH offers new vaccine cost calculators to equip countries to make the most of their resources. More HERE.
Concern Worldwide U.S.: Vaccine Equity: What, How, And When?
The rapid development of COVID vaccines has been extraordinary. But the pandemic will only end when everyone across the globe is protected – and that process is way off track. Here’s a deep dive into what’s going wrong and what can be done.
HelpAge USA: Lifting Up the Voices of Older Black and Hispanic Adults
HelpAge USA is lifting up the voices of Black and Hispanic adults 60+ years of age with regard to their decisions and access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Qualitative research is being conducted across the U.S. in February and early March 2021. The goal is to help inform public health and community leaders about the perspectives of those who have been the hardest hit by COVID-19 yet are heard the least. Early insights are available now.
Jhpiego Leads Global Charge for COVID-19 Vaccine Readiness, Introduction, and Scale-Up
Jhpiego is supporting ministries of health in a number of countries, including Nigeria and Pakistan, to prepare for the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine. Jhpiego has also provided support to the Government of Afghanistan in its planning for systems for pharmacovigilance and monitoring of Adverse Events following Immunization. Jhpiego is also coordinating with the South Africa National and Provincial Departments of Health to ensure that each vaccination site has sufficient vaccinators and ensure that all vaccinators have orientations and access to expert advice by implementing trainings and developing supportive supervision structures. In Kenya, Jhpiego addresses vaccine hesitancy using artificial intelligence methods to tap social media insights, identifying key influencers to creatively address hesitancy in targeted communities to reach a critical mass of vaccine coverage.
Jesuit Refugee Service Calls for Equity in Vaccine Distribution
The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) calls on global leaders to ensure that COVID-19 vaccine efforts prioritize all countries equally and include refugees and other forcibly displaced people in each country’s vaccine distribution plans. JRS accompanies forcibly displaced people in 56 countries across six continents, and their presence highlights the moral and ethical obligation to ensure that refugees are safe and protected from the virus. More info HERE.
IMA World Health: Working With Faith-Based Networks to Distribute the COVID-19 Vaccine in Vulnerable Communities
IMA World Health is mounting a global effort to help distribute and administer vaccines for COVID-19 in extremely vulnerable communities, some located in conflict zones. IMA is working alongside Ministries of Health and faith-based partners in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. IMA has been working with Christian Health Associations across sub-Saharan Africa to increase vaccine acceptance among health care workers and to train and empower local actors to increase vaccine uptake in their communities. Throughout Africa, Christian Health Associations are key frontline responders for the most vulnerable populations, living in crowded conditions with poor hygiene and few health services. In addition, these associations have deep relationships with local faith leaders, who trusted sources of information valuable in encouraging vaccine acceptance and in countering misinformation. IMA World Health, a subsidiary of Corus International, is an international NGO operating in fragile settings with communities and governments to overcome public health challenges.
Medical Teams International: Dr. Jill Hilty: Global Volunteer Goes Local to Respond to COVID-19
Dr. Jill Hilty is a family practitioner based in rural Colorado who has volunteered with Medical Teams International in Uganda on three separate trips. When her fourth volunteer trip to Uganda was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, Jill pivoted her plans to serve alongside Medical Teams International’s U.S. Programs team doing COVID-19 testing. Here, she shares her experiences and reflections from serving with Medical Teams abroad and in the United States.
Project HOPE and Partners Roll Out COVID-19 Vaccination Training in Over 20 African Countries
While African countries have begun receiving their first doses of vaccines, efforts to train local clinicians and frontline responders to inoculate populations are underway across the continent. Project HOPE has launched an online training targeting over 20 African countries to ensure local vaccinators are prepared and ready to meet the demands of their roles as COVID-19 vaccines become available. More than 140 participants from South Africa and Ethiopia already attended the first training on Friday, February 26.
The training, developed in partnership with Brown University’s Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies, follows the World Health Organization’s guidelines and supports the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s (Africa CDC) COVID-19 deployment and vaccination strategy. The training includes a blend of online learning modules, materials for in-person trainings, and direct support to health facilities. Participants learn about proper vaccine storage, preparation, and administration. They are also trained on how to respond to questions and concerns raised by local populations. The training is developed in English and will be soon translated to French, Arabic, and Portuguese to target further participants across the continent. More HERE.
AVSI Distributes Food To Families Affected By The Covid-19 Pandemic In Italy
AVSI Foundation, in partnership with the Red Cross and the City of Milan, distributed 68 tons of food to 12,000 people (4,500 families) who are going through financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative is part of the project “Building Hope: Emergency support for hospitals and vulnerable families in Italy affected by COVID-19,” implemented by AVSI with funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Food distribution is only one component of Building Hope. The project also provides educational support to families who face unemployment or loss of income and who struggle to give access to education for their children. AVSI is distributing tablets and internet bundles for access to virtual learning. The multi-sectoral project is also allowing for investments in telemedicine and at-home rehabilitation for patients with acute post-COVID conditions with the Sacco Hospital of Milan. In addition, the Civil Hospital in Brescia received improved diagnostic capacity for COVID testing, leading to a significant reduction in false-negative tests.
CRS: Intl. Aid Group Applauds COVAX Funding
Catholic Relief Services applauds the U.S. funding of COVAX and calls for continued leadership in the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in low- and middle-income countries. More HERE.
Mercy Corps: Conflict Zones Pose Ultimate Test as Global Vaccination Efforts Gets Underway
Delivering a COVID-19 vaccine to people living in conflict zones will be one of the biggest challenges we collectively face. Not only are the logistics incredibly difficult, but lack of trust and good health information is often at its apex in times of war. Mercy Corps experts can speak to the challenges of vaccination efforts in conflict zones, including lessons learned from negotiating access for aid deliveries and other vaccine distribution challenges such as countering misinformation and vaccine hesitancy.
Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, two of the world’s most challenging operating environments for aid and health workers, received their first batches this week. Yemen, the epicenter of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, is expected to receive 2.3 million doses this month. Conflict will deliver a double-blow to vaccination efforts: It will make it more difficult for healthcare workers to safely reach civilians to administer vaccines, particularly those living in areas unreachable by governments managing vaccination efforts. Over 60 million people live in areas controlled by non-state armed groups and are at risk of being excluded from vaccination efforts, according to the ICRC. And in conflict zones where governance is weakened, the public is already likely to mistrust public health interventions or deprioritize these interventions given the other life-threatening challenges they face on a daily basis.
World Vision: Faith In Action: Power Of Faith Leaders To Fight A Pandemic
World Vision, the world’s largest Christian humanitarian organization, has partnered with over 124,000 faith leaders in more than 40 countries to combat COVID-19. This report details the unique and essential role of faith leaders in the COVID-19 response before outlining their role in support of COVID-19 vaccines. More HERE.
Americares: New Americares Program Combats COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in the U.S.
Americares is launching a new program to combat COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among free clinic providers and patients in the United States.
According to January survey data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, roughly 3 in 10 health care workers express hesitancy about getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Americares will work with hundreds of free clinics and state and national associations over the next 12 months to dispel myths, reinforce confidence and educate health workers, volunteers, and the patients they serve about the importance of vaccination.
Americares has been responding to the COVID-19 pandemic for more than a year, providing primary care services as well as medicine, supplies, training, and mental health support to health workers in more than 30 countries.
PATH: To Optimize Covid-19 Vaccine Rollout, Listen To Health Workers
Health care workers in Kenya and Zambia are helping design vaccine preparedness and distribution plans. More HERE.
PATH: Vaccine Cold Chain Q&A
Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidates have turned the vaccine cold chain into hot news. But what is a cold chain? How does it work? And what does it have to do with equity? More HERE.