Tunisia, Kesla (AP) – Soldiers carry guns to protect the health center in the traditional Tunisian village of Kesla. Inside, military health workers are using other weapons to fight COVID-19: a vaccine.
Tunisia has faced the worst wave of coronavirus since the outbreak of the pandemic, placing more emphasis on already overcrowded hospitals and health systems in North African countries. As a result, some areas returned to the blockade and a wave of donations of vaccines and medical aid from China, France, Turkey, Italy, the United Arab Emirates and Algeria surged.
The Tunisian government has decided to deploy troops to vaccinate populations in areas where infection rates are lowest and in particular those where vaccination rates are lowest.
At Kesla Medical Center this week, surgeon Riad Arani said the shooting participation rate was “satisfactory, but lower than in big cities where news is spreading quickly and people are coming”.
“Many citizens here find it difficult to get to the vaccination center, so we are ready to extend our stay and give everyone the opportunity to come,” Allani told The Associated Press. It was. He said health workers would work with local governments to immunize people in their homes, if needed.
Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that over the past month, confirmed cases in Tunisia reached the maximum number of daily pandemics, but national vaccination rates remain low. Tunisia has the highest number of pandemic deaths per capita in Africa and currently has one of the highest per capita infection rates in the world, according to data.
Military health workers have vaccinated thousands of people, mostly people over the age of 60, in the Siliana region of central Tunisia and elsewhere. The campaign in Kesra used the Chinese Sinovac vaccine.
The military said medical deployments could be expanded to other areas in the coming days. The Tunisian president said the army would send helicopters to mountainous areas to transport vaccines to remote villages.
Raffica Afur, a resident of Kesla, said she was skeptical about receiving the injection, although she was called in twice for the shot.
“When I heard the arrival of the army, I decided to vaccinate, because… for me, (the army) is more honest than the other armies,” Achour said on the vaccination site.
To encourage and raise awareness, Tunisian President Kais Saied received his first dose of vaccine on Monday.
Meanwhile, help is coming from near and far.
The United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Algeria have sent hundreds of thousands of vaccines and medicines to Tunisia. A shipment of medical assistance arrived in the Italian Sea on Friday. France has pledged another 800,000 COVID-19 vaccines this week, and China has pledged 400,000, according to Tunisian news agency TAP.
Tunisia reported more than 17,000 deaths and more than 533,000 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic on Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
Yesica Fisch in Dakar, Senegal contributed to this report.
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