Provincial youth leaders take covid-19 vaccines to encourage others
By Sulayman Waan
Several provincial youth leaders have taken the COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves against the deadly disease, while calling on other young people to take the jabs.
The Gambia’s Ministry of Health confirmed the country’s first case of coronavirus on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
However, as of 30th October 2022, The Gambia had officially registered 372 COVID-19-related deaths and 12,580 positive cases.
Speaking to Mamos media via telephone interview, Bubacarr Sidibeh, a regional youth chairperson for the Upper River Region (URR) – the country’s farthest region – who took the COVID-19 vaccine since 2021, said he voluntarily took the jab to protect himself and people around him.
Mr. Sidibeh said as a youth leader, had he failed to take the vaccine, then all his close associates such as friends, co-workers and family members would have not been safe from the virus.
“I took the vaccine to protect myself from the disease and save others. I also take it to inspire the youth to take the jab because as a leader, taking the vaccine encourages others,” he said.
Sidibeh advised young people to take the jab, describing it as safe.
Ousman Sanneh, regional youth chairperson for the Lower River Region (LRR), said taking the jab was essential to him as a youth leader. He noted that since he mingles with several youths, government officials and development partners daily, it would therefore be proper to take the jab to protect him and his close associates.
“My vaccination was essential in encouraging more youth to participate in the vaccination process,” he said.
The LRR youth leader urged all youth to take the jab massively, while describing it as safe and good for them.
“We have taken the jab for a year now but we have not heard about any of the misconception and speculations that were made,” he said while encouraging others to take the covid-19 jabs.
Gibbril Dem, a district youth chairperson for Sami District in the Central River Region north, also said that he took the COVID-19 vaccine early 2021.
He said: “Taking the COVID-19 vaccine was very important for me as a youth leader because I often travel within the country and sometimes to neighbouring Senegal; therefore, it was important that I take the jab to protect myself and my close associates.”
Dem, who took the vaccine at his place of birth, Fitu Fula village, said there is a greater need for the youth to take the jab in order to protect themselves from the deadly disease.
Mr. Dem said Gambians should have confidence and trust in their health personnel, adding they would not bring vaccines that would affect the health of the populace.
Gibriel Gando Baldeh, the senior health communication officer at the Directorate of Health Promotion and Education under the Ministry of Health, noted that COVID-19 still exists in The Gambia and globally. He announced that the vaccines are still available at all public health facilities across the country, adding one could access the jab any time.
He said there is a greater need for the youth to take the vaccine, saying no person can travel abroad without a certificate of COVID-19 vaccine. “Therefore, it is important for youth to get vaccinated.
Baldeh said the youth should be vaccinated to ensure they do not transmit the disease to their parents who are more vulnerable to the disease. “So for youth, the best way to save your parents is to get vaccinated,” he advised.