Distrust, rumor, and misinformation over Covid Vaccines in Mozambique

March 18th, 2021

As a highly infectious new strain of COVID-19 spreads through southern Africa, the poorest rural villages in Mozambique where we work, will unlikely receive vaccines for some time if at all.

Vaccines have been trickling in from China, India, and the World health Organization but will be distributed among select groups as defined by the Mozambique government.

Of the approx. 700,000 total doses received, the first batch will cover health professionals in the National Health System, selected members of the government, and at a later stage, the elderly. A second batch is expected to cover teachers and the police force.

But there is widespread distrust and uncertainty among Mozambicans who are not sure of the effectiveness of the vaccines.

Some religious leaders claim fasting, and prayer can cure the disease, adding to the misinformation and rumor that is already rife; fears that the vaccines were created to eliminate black people or that they are an experiment, are frequently believed and some prefer to inhale natural herbs as an alternative cure.

To combat misinformation our partners, WATSAN, in Manica Province will be including vaccine awareness information within our hygiene and sanitation promotion sessions.

Field staff cover good handwashing techniques and other measures to mitigate the COVID virus and now, will address fears around the vaccine itself, and provide simple life saving materials such as soap and disinfectant, supporting their Government’s efforts to control the pandemic.

Gabriella, 7 de Abril school, Mozambique

Meanwhile good things are still happening as WATSAN will have almost completed one of their most impactful projects to date. 7 de Abril school, reopening on 22 March – also World Water Day – will receive the District Governor and TV Mozambique to inaugurate the new safe water system funded by Village Water. Huge thanks to our supporters.

Clean water for 9400 students, that is something to be celebrated!