WASHINGTON – IMA World Health has won a grant from the Osprey Foundation to fund faith-based approaches to ensuring COVID-19 vaccine equity in Africa that will result in more shots in arms to help prevent further spread of the disease and the emergence of new variants.
The two-year “Promoting COVID-19 Vaccine Equity through Faith-based Networks in Africa" (COV-FaB) project will be implemented in collaboration with IMA’s longtime African health network partner – the Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP).
COV-FaB will strengthen targeted Christian Health Associations (CHAs) in Sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe, with the objective of advancing COVID-19 vaccine demand and delivery through their expansive rural health facility networks, which reach overlooked, last-mile communities.
Throughout the project and with IMA’s technical support, ACHAP will work with the CHAs to close gaps in service delivery by microplanning alongside the respective ministries of health, engaging faith leaders as "champions" for vaccine uptake, and mobilizing communities to offer support for vaccine outreach programs.
Moreover, IMA will also partner with Internews to help ACHAP officials develop evidence-based media and communications strategies to support training of local health journalists, improving science-based journalism and avoiding disinformation, particularly in reporting on COVID-19 and vaccine efficacy.
Simultaneously, the project intends to help strengthen capacity throughout the ACHAP network, mainly focusing on preparedness for future health emergencies.
This is the latest on a long list of projects IMA World Health has undertaken to strengthen the capacity of local partners and faith-based or other health systems serving marginalized communities in Africa.