The First Lady of Zanzibar, Her Excellency Mariam H. Mwinyi, founded the Zanzibar Maisha Bora Foundation (ZMBF) in July 2021. Due to the low uptake of COVID-19 vaccination, the ZMBF received financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation through AMREF to implement a one-year project to boost vaccine uptake in Kaskazini A and Magharibi A district(s) in Unguja. This project complements the Government’s efforts towards attaining Quality Life Standards to all Zanzibaris.
The project targeted a population aged above 18 years. The THPC, 2012 documented that 122,560 residents (47,123 Kaskazini A; 75,437 Magharibi A) targeted and enrolled for COVID-19 vaccination services. Further, mixed methods including community door-to-door, strategic advocacy and community-led awareness, effective involvement of the H.E first Lady, Afya Bora Maisha Bora and routine immunization campaigns; social media and public announcements, quarterly Mariam Mwinyi Walkathon, and integration of COVID-19 and routine immunization services with structured data collection and quality assurance tools have been deployed.
There is no doubt that, effective collaboration between the ZMBF, Ministry of Health, AMREF, DHMTs, healthcare workers (Vaccinators), community leaders including Sheha, political and faith-based leaders), Community Health Volunteers and Data clerks were actively involved in project implementation. The data collection tools were developed, pre-tested and then used to gather gender-responsive COVID-19 and routine immunization data. The COVID-19 data generated indicates that the uptake of COVID-19 has increased from 35 per cent in December 2022 to 94 per cent in October 2023 and therefore surpassed the planned project target of 70 per cent by 30th October 2023.
To ensure the tracking and generation of quality and gender-responsive COVID-19 data, the results-based M&E framework has been in place and operationalized to track the implementation of the integrated COVID-19 vaccination and routine immunization projects.