From what I experienced last week, the country is ready to rise to the occasion.
I was heartened by the commitment I heard from the President, the First Lady and all the ministers and parliamentarians, the Governor of N’Djamena, and the CSOs I met. One remark from the Minister of Health, Aziz Mahamat Saleh, has remained with me. He told me “responsibility for vaccination remains that of the state – it is up to us to take care of our children.” This political commitment, if translated into action, has the potential to blaze a trail, proving that vaccination coverage can improve even in the most challenging contexts.
I left the country optimistic about the commitment of both the government and partners, and full of hope that when I return next year I will see real change. This also presents a strong opportunity for the Gavi Alliance to be bold and fully support Chad’s leadership in ways that we have not tested before.
One thing is clear – there can be no more business as usual for vaccination in Chad.