Yesterday was the official launch of the vaccination campaign. The chief of the health zone, the administrator of the territory, all officials in the region, and MSF officials have crisscrossed the town to announce with megaphones the opening festivities planned for the next day.
After a short official speech at the Mukomutombo health center, we all raised our glasses to the success of this campaign. But no time to hang around for MSF teams! We must return to the base to prepare the coolers and load them very early the next day to supply the vaccination sites at dawn because vaccination will start at 7:00 a.m.
This morning, at 4:30 a.m., the teams meet at the base and then the great ballet of cars, bikes, and coolers kicks off . . . Everyone is at his or her post and knows what to do. It's impressive to finally see these thousands of vaccines ready to leave for the four corners of the Malemba area after almost a month of preparation!
Around 9:00 a.m., there is a lull at the base. All cars have departed; we rest a bit before returning to the work and preparations for the next day. But at the sites, activity is in full swing! Children are forming queues in front of our vaccination sites. And all day, despite the blazing sun, MSF teams vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate . . .
On the first day, more than 15,300 children were vaccinated. A real success. Everyone is smiling and despite the fatigue, we are all extremely motivated for the next days. Our goal in 15 days is to have vaccinated 100,000 children between 6 months and 10 years of age, and eliminate this disease from Malemba.