MBABANE: Senator Lizzie Nkosi, the Minister of Health said the vaccination of the elderly from the age of 60 and above would start on Wednesday 31 March 2021.
In a press statement released on the 30th March 2021, the Minister said the outreach programme would cover all 59 Tinkhundla in the country and the vaccination team will be moving from one Inkhundla to another according to a designated schedule and time.
“It is important that the elderly keep time as the team has been allocated 3 hours in each Inkhundla. The Ministry encourages all qualifying citizens to register using the link, hhtps://www.eswatini .org/vaccine-registration. Onsite registration is available for those who are unable to register online. Please bring your National Identity to the vaccination sites,” reads the statement in part.
When reached for comments, Bheki Mamba, the President of Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) said the vaccination exercise was marked with acute shortage of nurses, no vehicles to transport staff to the Centres for vaccination.
“The few available vehicles are grounded due to the lack of fuel. We appeal to the state to provide adequate vehicles otherwise the staff will not cope with the big number of the elderly people without adequate HR and vehicles,” the SWADNU President said.
Pius Vilakati, the Spokesperson of the Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) said the looting of resources by the royal family is one of the major causes of the transport crisis that has hit even police stations.
“As in many of other areas, the biggest crisis is the lack and unwillingness of the Government to consult with health workers. This has been the case since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. From here, things can only get worse,” said the CPS Spokesperson.
Eswatini continues with the use of the controversial AstraZeneca vaccine which was stopped in neighbouring South Africa for its low efficacy against the South African variant whose presence is at 88% in the country. The country has received 32 000 doses of the vaccine from the government of India, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and is also expecting over 500 000 doses from the COVAX facility.
Health Minister Lizzie Nkosi(pic:Gov)