Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Tomorrow families across Côte d’Ivoire will begin to participate in the national integrated health campaign. Children under the age of five will receive measles vaccines, Vitamin A supplements, de-worming medicine, and a life-saving bed net to prevent malaria. After two years of fundraising and more than eight months of planning, the campaign is just one day away. And so naturally, today was a day for final preparations among the partners.
Over the last several weeks, partners working with Côte d’Ivoire’s National Program in the Fight against Malaria (PNLP) have come together to put all the final pieces of the campaign in place – from creating TV, radio and print advertisements to make sure Ivoirians know about the campaign, to tackling the logistical challenges of getting nearly one million bed nets to over 1,200 distribution sites around the country.
In particular, our partners Population Services International (PSI) and UNICEF have been instrumental to this end, including clearing the bed nets through customs at the port in Abidjan, offloading them from the ship on which they came into a storage warehouse, loading them back onto trucks and pre-positioning the bed nets at the distribution sites, such that by tomorrow everything is in place for the campaign to begin.
Today all that remained to be discussed was who will go where and how the partners will reconnect each day to share updates from the various sites. The 35 United Methodists from Texas will be sent in small teams to 5 of the 18 districts where bed nets will be distributed: Grand Bassam, Alepe, Agboville, Dabou and Adiake. It will be an early wake-up call for the volunteers, as the campaign is expected to begin at 8:00 a.m. and some sites are up to two hours drive from Abidjan – but everyone is ready for the campaign to begin. You can read their stories at http://www.txcumcmedia.org/africablog/.
Two years of fundraising and over eight months of planning – all made possible through partnership.