Solange Uwizeyimana was a domestic worker who had been wanting to be vaccinated against COVID-19 since months. However, when she visited a Rubavu vaccination center in western Rwanda, she was turned away by the staff because she was not eligible.
She was shocked to learn that an 18-year-old vaccination campaign was being held in Kigali’s capital.
The 21-year old told Xinhua that even though it meant waiting in line for the entire day, he could not leave until he was vaccinated.
She was among the many young Rwandans who showed up at Nyarugenge district’s school to be vaccinated.
In August, the Rwandan Health Ministry organized a two week vaccination campaign at Kigali’s various sites for adults aged 18 and older.
According to health officials, the idea is to reach young people who are often employed in different areas of the economy.
According to the government, vaccinations will allow the country to return to “normal” business.
For the first time since the epidemic, both vaccinated and non-vaccinated people were allowed to return to the pitch last month to see the largest basketball tournament on the African continent, in Kigali. To attend major events in Rwanda, you will need to show proof of vaccination and negative testing.
“Rwanda has seen a decline in COVID-19 new cases over the past weeks because of vaccination campaign,” Tharcisse Maunga, Rwanda’s State Minister responsible for Primary Healthcare, told Xinhua by phone.
“Besides vaccination, enforcement and promotion of preventive measures in cities have been key factors.” He said that even though compliance is not 100%, there is still a reasonable level.
Data as of Wednesday showed that there had been 2,818 confirmed cases, and 37 deaths in the last seven days. Since the outbreak, approximately 94,055 new cases and 1,184 deaths have been reported.
After cases had reached their highest point in July, the government placed Kigali and eight other towns under a third lockdown. The highest number of cases was recorded by health officials in July with nearly 2000 new cases in one day.
However, hospital admissions for COVID-19 patients have dropped with the majority of patients being treated at home and some centers that were reopened after a surge closing again.
Like other Rwandans, youth have flocked in large numbers to receive COVID vaccination jabs. Officials from Rwanda say that vaccine hesitancy in Rwanda is not a major problem.
Mpunga was asked if it was possible to declare that Rwanda had defeated the third wave virus that has been infected Africa’s nations. He said it was too early, but noted that it would take more time to consolidate the relative success of the virus, which continues to mutilate.
According to the minister, the hot spots based on current health surveys are in rural areas of Rwanda’s eastern districts bordering Tanzania or Uganda.
Mpunga stated that the government has decentralized COVID treatment in the country. Provinces are able to handle cases without the need to be treated in Kigali.
Rwanda started a nationwide vaccination campaign in March 2005. It began with those from high-risk groups such as frontline workers and health professionals, but later expanded to include people older than 65 or with underlying conditions.
Central African countries aim to have 30 percent of their population vaccinated by 2021.
Over 1.8 million people have been vaccinated with COVID-19, while 1.1 million are fully protected.
The vaccine portfolio of Rwanda includes China-made Sinopharm and Pfizer as well as Johnson& Johnson, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer.
The Health Ministry distributed 97,000 doses Sinopharm last week to residents over 50 years of age and people with underlying conditions living in other parts of the country.
Mpunga stated that “there is good progress in terms delivery of vaccines.”
Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s President, has urged the public to be vigilant and to use all information available “to keep updated ourselves on how to stop it spreading and continue fighting it.”