In mid-February, anti-covid vaccinations began in Mozambique, in the DREAM center of Zimpeto, in Maputo, and in the following days the campaign spread to all 12 DREAM centers in the country.
This is a commitment and a new challenge in the awareness that the fight against the pandemic is only possible if it is tackled on a global level, thus guaranteeing the same treatment opportunities for everyone.
After the training courses for local operators and all the necessary material that guarantees the safe storage and inoculation of the vaccine, in addition to administering the vaccines in DREAM centers with dedicated space and personnel, real mobile units have been created, which reach the most distant and vulnerable population.
With the mobile units you can get everywhere: in the markets, in the slums of the cities, in front of universities, but also in the most rural and isolated areas, in the camps of displaced persons, in the poor homes of the elderly and disabled, reaching the most vulnerable who alone would not have access to vaccines.
On March 5 and 6, a mobile unit reached the district of Chimbabava in the Province of Sofala, in the center of the country where the Catholic mission of Esmabama offers education to thousands of children and where DREAM is present in the three reference Health Centers of a large rural area.
The journey is long, after a short stretch of provincial road, we enter roads of beaten earth and stones. The centuries-old baobab tree welcomes us in Mangunde, and we immediately understand that the entire area is affected by a severe drought, it’s been about 5 years now that climate change has been affecting this area, all made worse after the IDAI cyclone of March 2019. The drought, the increasingly scarce and sporadic rainfall, the consequent scarcity of crops already suggests that there is food shortage that will turn into hunger.
The director of the Mangunde Health Center is also the DREAM coordinator. Here, as in Estaquinha and Barada, the program treats AIDS patients who receive therapy, check-ups and home care.
In spite of the objective difficulties of such a remote and isolated area, DREAM is an example of excellence. Data collection systems are used for operational research, quality control and networking. You update the computerized medical records, and you wait until 23:00 that hour a day of internet connection to put them on the network.
Home care is carried out thanks to the activists who follow patients who are up to 35 km away from the Center, and when the patients are not well and cannot reach the Center on foot, walking an entire night, the activists transport the patient by bicycle on uneven roads full of stones to the Center, because they say DREAM “is health and salvation”.
The village chiefs were informed that there would be vaccinations on Sunday, there was a real tam tam and many many people came to get vaccinated. They set up a “vaccination hub” in the most spacious and coolest part of the village, under the biggest tree, there waiting for us all in a circle ready to listen. Before the vaccination and the registration with all the necessary data, they do a presentation of what the vaccine is, why it is necessary, any side effects and leave room for questions. Only then do we start the vaccinations, first the elderly, then the women and finally the men.
At the end everyone thanked, even a little ‘amazed that from so far away, even from Rome have come to help make the vaccinations, a place so isolated from everything and yet as an elderly woman said “for you of Sant’Egidio I am important”, the mobile unit was thanked and greeted with songs and dances.
Thanks to Coop Italy that with its fundraising campaign #coopforafrica has made all this possible.