Sunday, February 5

Global Lead coordinator for COVID-19 vaccination delivery in Gambia for high-level talks

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Mr. Benjamin Schreiber, the Deputy Global Lead Coordinator for COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership (CoVDP), is in The Gambia for an official two-day visit. Mr. Schreiber is part of a joint Africa CDC and CoVDP delegation that is in Banjul on a high-level mission. Mr. Schreiber is joined by Dr. Isaac Adewole from Africa CDC in his visit. The overall objective of the visit is to mobilise partner support for COVID-19 vaccine delivery in view of augmenting Gambia’s efforts to reach national and global targets.

During his visit, Mr. Schreiber and his team are expected to meet with senior government officials, including at the Office of the President, policy makers from across different sectors and in-country partners to review and discuss the main obstacles to the roll-out of the national strategy and to consolidate efforts to increase immunisation coverage against COVID- 19 in the Gambia, with a special focus on high-risk groups.

Launched in January 2022, the CoVDP is an inter-agency initiative by Gavi, WHO and UNICEF that supports the 92 countries of the COVAX “Advanced Market Commitment” (AMC92) mechanism, providing support for political advocacy, access to funding, technical support, and demand planning, thus helping to close the immunisation equity gap.

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Mr. Schreiber supports UNICEF’s work on the ACT-A and is a Deputy responsible for Financing & Demand Planning in the COVID-19 Vaccines Delivery Partnership (CoVDP).  Prior to his currently position, he had been UNICEF’s deputy chief of global immunization programmes.

Dr. Isaac Adewole is a professor of gynaecology and obstetrics, and a former Minister of Health in Nigeria (2015 – 2019). As a leading researcher in gynaecologic oncology, he chairs the National Panel on Cervical Cancer Control Policy and appointed as a member of the international taskforce on elimination of cervical Cancer in the Commonwealth.

COVID-19 Vaccination Update

As of early July 2022, almost 12 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered globally. According to the WHO, 61 per cent of the world population have been fully vaccinated but only 13 per cent in low-income countries. The WHO Africa and Eastern Mediterranean regions account for the largest proportion of unvaccinated for the total population. In The Gambia, the COVID-19 vaccination programme started March 5, 2021. As of November 2022, 537,275 (22%) have received at least 1 dose of the vaccine, and 442,833 (18.2%) have been fully vaccinated with both doses.

About Benjamin Schreiber

Benjamin coordinates UNICEF’s work on the ACT-A and is a Deputy responsible for Financing & Demand Planning in the COVID-19 Vaccines Delivery Partnership (CoVDP).  Beforehand he has been UNICEF’s deputy chief of global immunization programmes. In preceding roles at UNICEF, he served as the Senior Immunization Specialist since 2013 overseeing the immunization supply strengthening work for UNICEF to ensure that all children and mothers have access to potent vaccines.

About Professor Isaac Adewole

A professor of gynaecology and obstetrics and a former Minister of Health in Nigeria (2015 – 2019), Dr. Adewole is also a former vice-chancellor of the University of Ibadan and President of the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer. He has served in various academic roles in the academic arena notably as provost at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan. He is an adjunct Professor at Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA. As a leading researcher in gynaecologic oncology, he chairs the National Panel on Cervical Cancer Control Policy and appointed as a member of the international taskforce on elimination of cervical Cancer in the Commonwealth.

About COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership (CoVDP)

The COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership (CoVDP) is an inter-agency initiative launched by UNICEF, WHO and Gavi in January 2022 to support the 92 AMC countries in accelerating vaccine delivery with a particular focus on the 34 countries, including Gambia, that were at or below 10 per cent in January 2022.  

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