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In June 2021, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), in partnership with Mastercard Foundation, kick-started a 3-year project to vaccinate 70% of Africa’s population and hasten the continent’s economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic dubbed Saving Lives and Livelihoods (SLL) initiative. Africa CDC has, since May 2022, been collaborating with Global Health Systems Solutions (GHSS) to implement the SLL Initiative in the Central Africa Region. GHSS has been engaged in different interventions to enhance the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines across the Central Africa Region and support the effective and efficient deployment of COVID-19 vaccine doses across nine Central Africa Region member states, including Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Congo Republic, Chad, Central African Republic (CAR), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Burundi, and Sao Tome. Some key activities of the Organization have included setting up and running new COVID-19 Vaccination Centers (CVCs), enhancing the capacity of existing COVID-19 Vaccination Centers, and training the workforce needed to administer vaccines and manage CVC sites efficiently. 

On January 31, 2023, Africa CDC and GHSS held a meeting in Yaounde, Cameroon, to track the progress made regarding activities implementation, discuss challenges in the project implementation and seek solutions to improve the project goals of increasing the number of persons vaccinated in Africa. Africa CDC was represented at this meeting by Dr. Djouldalbaye Benjamin (Head of Division), Dr. Serge Batcho (Technical Officer), Dr. Alain Mukendi (Program Officer Partnership Management), Mr. Ben Kamonye (Senior Finance Officer) and Dr. Jembia J. Mosoko (Senior Consultant). GHSS was represented by Dr. Zambou Benjamin (SLL Project Coordinator), Dr. Elvis Amin (Monitoring and Evaluation Lead for SLL), Mr. Tegomo Alain (Cameroon Project Coordinator for SLL), Mr. Guebiapsi Dominik (SLL Monitoring and Evaluation Officer) and Mr. Ayumbi Paul (SLL Monitoring and Evaluation Officer).

Speaking at the assessment meeting, the SLL Project Coordinator at GHSS, Dr. Zambou Benjamin, expressed gratitude to Africa CDC and Mastercard Foundation for their collaboration since the start of the SLL Initiative in Central Africa. The Monitoring and Evaluation Lead of the SLL Project at GHSS, Dr. Elvis Amin, highlighted the project’s achievements. The Technical Officer at Africa CDC underscored the importance of the assessment exercise to the smooth implementation of the project in all the nine countries involved in the Central Africa Region.

The Africa CDC team was delighted with the collaboration between GHSS and Red Cross Cameroon.  They underscored the need for the Cameroon Red Cross and GHSS to carry out a joint mission in countries where both partners are present to facilitate and accelerate the implementation of SLL activities. The assessment meeting culminated in outlining some recommendations that GHSS will implement to fast-track actions that will ensure effective, efficient, and safe vaccination services across the nine Central Africa Region member states.