Pandemic Response Activity

Speeches Shim

Pandemic Response Activity
Posters on the importance of vaccination
UNICEF for USAIDKosovo

USAID’s Pandemic Response Activity, a three-year partnership with UNICEF, supports vaccination and outreach efforts to fight COVID-19 in Kosovo and provides reliable medical information and services to protect the public against the worst effects of the pandemic.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Since the pandemic began, misinformation about Covid -19 vaccines has doubled in Kosovo, standing in the way of ending the pandemic.  The Communications Hub, a team of professionals at UNICEF with specialized expertise in strategic communications, behavioral and social science, and monitoring and evaluation, will develop evidence-based communication campaigns and outreach activities. They will design tailored messaging with facts about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible.  UNICEF, with USAID’s support, will reach out to communities through traditional and social media outlets, including Facebook, the main social media platform in Kosovo; face-to-face events with community leaders; local, trusted medical professionals; and door-to-door household visits.  Volunteers will also hand out educational materials on the streets and respond on the spot to anyone’s questions and concerns. 

VACCINE COLD CHAIN SYSTEM REPLACEMENT

Kosovo’s 20-year-old cold chain system - low temperature-controlled vaccine storage equipment - is outdated and unable to provide safe storage for COVID-19 vaccines.  With USAID funds, UNICEF will replace Kosovo’s cold chain system with new equipment to prevent the loss of any vaccines from inadequate storage conditions.  UNICEF has helped procure cold rooms, freezer rooms, and ultra-low temperature freezers for the Central Vaccine Storage facility as well as vaccine refrigerators and freezers for medical centers in municipalities throughout Kosovo. 

TEMPORARY VACCINATION CENTERS

With USAID’s donation, UNICEF will set up 30 temporary vaccination centers in 30 municipalities across Kosovo to make access to COVID-19 vaccinations as easy as possible.  UNICEF will train vaccination teams to properly administer doses, supply IT equipment for registration and data collection, and provide rapid test kits and hygiene supplies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at the centers.  The new centers are expected to increase daily vaccination rates by 20 percent.  The first five centers will be operational starting in the first week of February. 

COVID-19 CASE IDENTIFICATION AND RESPONSE

Timely data collection of COVID-19 cases helps Kosovo health authorities respond quickly to contain new outbreaks.  UNICEF will use USAID funds to digitize Kosovo’s COVID-19 database so that the spread of the disease can be tracked in real-time. Schools, especially, are expected to benefit because early detection of COVID-19 can reduce transmission rates and keep schools open. The Pandemic Response Activity efforts will also help to strengthen Kosovo’s primary healthcare system’s response to COVID-19.  USAID funding will be used to help healthcare professionals continue to plan COVID-19 vaccination rollouts, offer teleconsulting services through family medical centers to expand access to treatment for people with Covid-19, and begin to plan post-pandemic recovery efforts. 

Results to Date

  • Communications Hub has collected and analyzed Kosovo’ available data on vaccination rates and identified main misinformation narratives about COVID-19 vaccines to inform the development of tailored communication materials.
  • Door-to-door campaigns have successfully vaccinated over 6000 people from vulnerable communities against COVID-19.
  • Up-to-date information about vaccine rates and COVID-19 prevention has reached 488,000 people (excluding TV audiences).
  • Plans have been finalized for the replacement of vaccine cold chain equipment.

              Project Duration:            July 2021 - July 2023   

              Partner:                              UNICEF Kosovo.  

              Contact:                              Berenika Gashi

Last updated: February 22, 2022

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