EDITORIAL | If state botches vaccine rollout it will lose its chance to win back trust
The rollout is top of the list of obstacles the state needs to overcome to prove it is trustworthy and competent
In 2011, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) started a project to test for and treat HIV among the 115,000 people living in Eshowe, KwaZulu-Natal. Its aim was to reach the UN’s 90-90-90 goals by mid-2020 to improve testing and treatment regimes. Last year, at the Aids conference in Durban, it reported on its progress: it had managed to reach the goals a year ahead of schedule. One of its secrets to success? The project managers actively involved traditional leaders to help educate the community.
The success behind this project came to mind when President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday night offered some insight into how the government plans to deal with disinformation about vaccines. “We see a vital role for organised labour, traditional leaders and the religious community in the dissemination of accurate information on vaccines and in ensuring optimal participation in the vaccine programme,” he said. ..