WanaData Africa
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WanaData Africa

Fellowship experience: WanaData journalism fellowship on Covid-19 vaccination.

By Olufunmilayo Obadofin

In August, I was honoured to be an awardee of the Code for Africa’s WanaData Covid-19 Journalism grant.

For the fellowship, my major deliverable was to produce four stories with a focus on Covid-19 Vaccine campaigns, lack thereof, lack of infrastructure to serve the vaccine campaign in Nigeria.

Having picked a keen interest in the Covid-19 campaign prior to the fellowship, it was a quick stride to select topics that I considered highly relevant with an accompanying need for an increased spotlight to strengthen the Covid-19 campaign in the country as an important step towards achieving global equitable distribution of the vaccine and ending the pandemic. The stories were

  • Towards an Inclusive Roadmap for Vaccine distribution in Nigeria.
  • The Role of the Media in the Covid-19 Campaign in Nigeria
  • Improving Cold-Chain Capacity for Vaccine Distribution in Nigeria.
  • Civic Engagement and Accountability in the Covid-19 Campaign in Nigeria

The objective of the stories covers researching a roadmap for inclusive and equitable distribution locally, identifying and spotlighting relevant stakeholders to the campaign, and identifying structural gaps in the campaign implementation.

The stories were captured with the great use of both primary and secondary data obtained from academic research, media content; archives from relevant government Ministries, Departments and Agencies; interviews of different political and non-political actors.

Prominently, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) was featured through relevant data and statements from the agency.

Some of these data importantly include the official record of distribution for the vaccine thus far in the country, the storage capacity for vaccine with capture that appreciates government efforts, and gaps for improvement

With the data discovered during the research, it was discovered that while the government especially through its agency NPHCDA has been active on the campaign, pre-existing factors and loopholes before the pandemic such as the inconsistent electricity supply for vaccines, inadequate material needs in IDP, distrust in government; makes the campaigns lag in certain areas captured in the stories, and called for an intensified effort beyond the ongoing effort.

The new menace of infodemic also places further stress on the government in managing the campaign

In all, the government can seek more creative means such as partnering with civil societies, use of trends and traditionally and proactively seeking to improve its healthcare sector with the current pandemic and future.

Personally, the fellowship gave me the opportunity to improve on my use of data, and data visualization for impact-driven storytelling

I am extremely grateful for the editorial and data visualization support I got from the WanaData/Code for Africa team which especially includes my fellowship mentor John Eromosele, Adaugo Isaac, Freda Victor and Tolu Adeyemo.

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