Mozambique: two doses of COVID vaccine for civilians during conflict

A woman getting vaccinated in Mozambique A woman getting vaccinated in Mozambique ICRC

In six districts of Mozambique affected by armed conflict, over 1 million people have been vaccinated for COVID-19 with the support of ICRC. 

On the 28 of June, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reported that in six districts of Mozambique, in the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Manica, and Sofala, one million people received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine. This achievement was possible thanks to the support of the organization which assisted the local health authorities in the transportation of the vaccines by providing fuel. These measures were necessary as the ongoing violence in the country has significantly hampered the access to healthcare for civilians. Moreover, since the beginning of June this year, in these districts more than 3000 families have been forced to leave their homes in search of safer places. Overall, over the past few years over 800.000 civilians fled their homes because of the war in Cabo Delgado. 

In relation to the conflict situation in the country, Emilio Mashant, ICRC Health coordinator in Mozambique stated that “The armed conflict in Cabo Delgado has had a real impact on the health system in general. Most health centers there have been destroyed, burned, or vandalized, and access to these health centers is not possible due to insecurity. […] The violence prevented the health system from deploying to these places to conduct a vaccination campaign against COVID.” Above all, this armed conflict prevented the civilian population from accessing essential services, which is currently the principal humanitarian issue in Mozambique. 

On the whole, the support of the ICRC was essential in this war context, also for raising awareness about the importance of vaccines among the population.


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by Alexia Tenneriello

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