Adodo “Jerry” Johnson wears many hats. A sociologist by training, he has accumulated years of work in child and youth holistic development, and in project and change management with key nonprofit organizations. Passionate about journalism and documentary films, AJ worked with Jody Hassett Sanchez in the production of SOLD: Fighting the New Global Slave Trade, a documentary on child slavery, and was part of the first cohort of African journalists enrolled in the Africa Film Project by the Media Project organization. Besides his formal professional engagements, he is a freelance photojournalist and the lead photographer for the Association Espoir Nouveau, which helps vulnerable children by equipping them to thrive in life. He leads the African Child Photo and Film project, an initiative for equipping vulnerable children with photography and journalism skills in Togo.
In February in the outskirts of Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, just beyond where paved roads transition to dirt, an undiagnosed polio infection paralyzed a three-year-old girl. From one day to the next, the child’s life was changed forever.
ARTICLE ET PHOTOGRAPHIES PAR AJ JOHNSON TRADUCTION ANGLAISE PAR KAMI L. RICE
Au Togo, la campagne de vaccination contre la Covid-19 a commencé le 11 mars 2021, grâce à l’initiative Covax, qui a délivré un premier lot de 156.000 doses du vaccin AstraZeneca. Covax est une initiative de l’Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS) qui, parmi ses plusieurs objectifs, assure un accès équitable aux produits de diagnostic, de traitements et de vaccins contre la Covid-19.
Les doses reçues étant en nombre limité, le gouvernement togolais a mis en place un plan de vaccination en plusieurs phases. Ce plan préconise l’administration des premières doses du vaccin au personnel du corps médical, ensuite aux personnes âgées de 50 ans et plus, puis aux personnes plus jeunes souffrant d’une maladie chronique, et enfin au reste de la population de plus de 20 ans. Un site web officiel a ainsi été mis en place pour gérer la campagne de vaccination.
STORY AND PHOTOS BY AJ JOHNSON
ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY KAMI L. RICE
In Togo, thanks to the Covax Initiative, the COVID-19 vaccination campaign began on March 11, 2021, following the receipt of a first batch of 156,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine. Covax is a World Health Organization initiative that among its several objectives, ensures equitable access to diagnostic products, treatments, and vaccines against COVID-19.
Since a limited number of doses were received, the Togolese government implemented a multi-phase vaccination plan. This plan calls for the first doses to be administered to medical personnel, then to people aged 50 and older, next to people under 50 suffering from a chronic disease, and finally to anyone 20 years old and up. An official website was set up to manage the vaccination campaign
STORY AND PHOTOS BY AJ JOHNSON
ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY KRISTEN VONNOH
Covid-19, entre corruption et angoisse
J’ai récemment voyagé au Bénin, un des pays voisins, dans le cadre de mon travail. Avant de partir je me suis assuré de faire un test Covid qui s’est avéré négatif. Pour ce voyage j’avais décidé de prendre la voie terrestre puisque, de sources sûres, quoiqu’officiellement les frontières terrestres étaient fermées, il était assez bien possible de traverser la frontière sans aucun problème—à condition de payer des frais, non déclarés, aux différents postes de contrôles que ce soit du côté du Togo, mon pays de départ, que du pays d’arrivée.
COVID-19, Between corruption and anguish
I recently traveled to the neighboring country of Benin for my work. Before leaving, I made sure to take
a COVID-19 test, which was negative. I decided to take the land route for this trip since reliable sources
informed me that although land borders were officially closed, it was quite possible to cross the border without any problem, provided I paid undeclared fees at the various checkpoints on the Togo side, my country of departure, as well as on the Benin side.
PHOTOS AND TEXT BY/PHOTOGRAPHIES ET TEXTE PAR A.J. JOHNSON
FRENCH PROOFREADING BY/RELECTURE FRANÇAISE PAR CAROLINE BERNARD-GILBERT
ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY/TRADUCTION ANGLAISE PAR KAMI L. RICE
While the horns of two taxis blare, further noise rattles the Lomé intersection of Sagbado. “Olé yia, Olé yia?” (“Do you need a ride?”) cry out the drivers of motorcycle-taxis as they rush toward the car taxis that have just stopped in front of the Sanol gas station. The motorcycle drivers hope to attract the attention of passengers exiting the larger taxis and gain another fare by taking them to the passengers’ final destination. The scene is nothing new. It takes place over and over again all day long, from the rising to the setting of the sun. However, for the past few months, since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis and especially since the government decreed a curfew and state of emergency, a new group of venders has joined the motorcycle-taxis at this intersection.