Our district is one of the least vaccinated districts in Liberia. The difficulty in traveling through the district to the clinic is challenging enough during the dry season, let alone the rainy season when the multitude of rivers and swamps in the area are swollen and, at times, un-crossable. The terrain causes such a burden on patients they don’t want to make the trek to the clinic when they’re sick, much less when their well. So many of our children reach 1 year-old, the cutoff in Liberia for routine childhood immunizations, without completing even half of the required vaccines. We saw the impact of this problem last year when there was both a measles and whooping cough outbreak in our area.
But we seem to be turning a corner!! This August we had an amazing turn-out for vaccines. Working in collaboration with the Community Health Workers (CHW) from Last Mile Health, a Boston based NGO, we had a waiting-room full of mothers and babies eager for their vaccinations…well, the mothers more than the babies. The CHWs will now be visiting all the infants in their communities to track when they are due for their next vaccines and send them to the clinic on time!
We’re excited to see where this partnership will take us and looking forward to seeing our rates of diseases like whooping cough and measles drop off the charts!!