Mission Aviation Fellowship begins COVID-19 vaccine delivery in rural Lesotho

Guelph, Ontario, CANADA

GUELPH, Ontario, March 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Humanitarian organization Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) is delivering COVID-19 vaccines in the land-locked country of Lesotho to help combat the spread of the deadly virus.

Lesotho’s mountainous terrain makes interior land travel difficult and MAF is acting as a last-leg carrier to ensure the vaccines stay at the appropriate temperature before being administered. This past week, about 140 workers in Lebakeng and 60 in Kubunyane were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been used exclusively in Lesotho.

Due to limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Lesotho government prioritized vaccinations for frontline health care workers and clinic staff as they work to acquire additional vaccines for the entire population.

"MAF is very grateful for the initiative shown by the government, and our close partner, the Lesotho Flying Doctors Service," said MAF pilot Grant Strugnell. "They have done a great job in working out the logistics, and MAF has been very pleased to be able to assist with the transport to a few of the harder-to-reach clinics."

This is not the first vaccine delivery flight MAF has conducted. Several days ago, MAF transported several boxes of COVID-19 vaccines to three separate locations in Indonesia and carried medics to oversee local distribution. MAF expects that it will be involved in vaccine delivery in many of the 30+ countries it operates within.

Mission Aviation Fellowship has been serving in Lesotho since 1978 and is supported by five field staff families and 13 local staff. The MAF Lesotho program already has more flights planned to continue providing transportation of vaccinations in other remote areas in Lesotho.

MAF uses four Cessna TU206G airplanes, based in Maseru, to deliver the vaccines.

For more than 75 years, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has been using aviation and technology to reach isolated communities in the farthest corners of the earth. Today, we partner with over 1,500 organizations to deliver support, hope, healing, spiritual care, and community development to thousands of communities where flying is not a luxury but a lifeline.

MAFC.org | 1-877-351-9344 | bbell@mafc.org