Lesotho Red Cross Society (LRCS) has conducted Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) awareness campaign on the COVID-19 Vaccine in 70 villages where 718 people from Berea district were reached from 7th to 11th November 2022. The National Society embarked on this exercise to create vaccine demand, to encourage the community to vaccinate, and get feedback on why other people are not vaccinated. The SLL project has engaged 20 LRCS volunteers in each district who are working with the local Ministry of Health RCCE teams. It is implemented in four districts of Lesotho which are Berea, Mohale’s Hoek, Thaba-Tseka, and Quthing.

It is through this operation that it was discovered that most herd boys have not vaccinated because they were at the cattle posts during the days the vaccine was administered in their villages. On the other hand, some primary school students aged between 13 and 15 were not vaccinated due to fear caused by misinformation while others are awaiting the booster. Some community members claimed that there is no need to vaccinate because according to them COVID-19 is no longer a threat.

LRCS volunteers held a public gathering for Initiation Schools teachers encouraging them to ensure that their initiates are vaccinated before they go to their schools. The teachers promised to pass the message and to ensure that the boys and girls adhere to the call of the Ministry of Health. The LRCS Programs Director Mr Sechaba Mokhameleli encouraged the health personnel to visit the initiation schools to vaccinate so that no one is left out from this exercise.

The RCCE exercise was implemented by the Ministry of Health and Lesotho Red Cross Society under the support of Africa CDC Saving Lives and Livelihood (SLL) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation.