Our take: Limpopo’s boss vaccine rollout

Gauteng is still the epicentre of Covid-19 in South Africa. Hospital admissions continue to climb, but the province may turn a corner soon; some experts say it may be at its peak, meaning that cases will soon begin to drop. 

We know it’s a long road. So, when we read the story about how Limpopo has successfully been carrying out its vaccine rollout, we thought we had to share it with you! 🙌

When the government announced that people older than 60 needed to register with the Electronic Vaccination Data System, Limpopo’s health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba knew it would be a problem for the province’s elderly and illiterate people; this, coupled with the lack of resources and network, meant something needed to be done. Enter youth community healthcare workers who went door-to-door to register the elderly and illiterate people in the largely rural province. Ramathuba said that, given the government’s initial lag and backlog, the province could not rely wholly on the national approach: instead, it considered the resources and materials at hand. 

Thanks to Limpopo’s tailor-made solution, at least 80% of people in the group have been registered on the system and 17 000 people a day are being vaccinated, with the capacity to scale up to at least 30 000 people a day. WOW! Religious and traditional leaders were the first to be vaccinated, so the people living in the area could follow their lead. We hope that other provinces can follow suit or create their own solutions. Ramathuba is even being mooted to replace suspended health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. 

In case you’re wondering about the level 4 lockdown that expires after two weeks on 11 July 2021, word has it that it could be extended – but, as always, we’ll wait for the official announcement. 

This article appeared as part of The Wrap, 08 July 2021. Sign up to receive our weekly updates.