A woman sitting on a sofa, wearing a headscarf.
A woman sitting on a sofa, wearing a headscarf.

Photo © Sightsavers


'There is not enough communication around the vaccine'

Fama, who lives in Senegal, is 48 years old. She lives with her children, her daughters-in-law, and a co-wife (Senegal is a polygamous society and dwellings are sometimes shared by different wives of the same man). Fama is the vice president of an organisation of and for blind people, and earns money by occasionally trading goods.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected me economically and emotionally. My business was at a standstill and I was afraid of contacting the disease or that my relatives would be infected. We were in confinement. I was afraid to go out and what I [heard] from outside about the cases of contamination with COVID-19 did not reassure me.

I have heard about the vaccine in the media. People over 50 and medical personnel are given priority. People with disabilities as [a group at higher risk should] have priority and I know that the government will take charge of this [although it] has not yet announced about the priority to benefit people with disabilities from the vaccine. What I can do is register on the link that has been shared and wait my turn.

But there is not enough communication around the vaccine. The government must provide more information and reassure the population on the need for the vaccine to fight against the spread of the coronavirus. There are people I talk to who don’t trust the vaccine at all.

Apart from the radio news, I was unable to access other types of information. As a blind person, I have no other sources of information. Even the link to register – I only learned about it recently and it is an obstacle because how could I use it if nothing is provided for people like me?

My only hope is that the coronavirus pandemic disappears and that we return to our daily activities as before.


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