-By NET Bureau
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown several challenges to frontline workers and most of them have overcome each challenge quite diligently, scripting new history for others to follow.
Nursing assistant Phurpa Tsering, braved inclement weather and passed through difficult terrains and trekked for eight hours to Mago, a small village in Tawang district in Arunachal Pradesh to inform and convince villagers about the forthcoming vaccination drive.
He had also carried with him a picture of the Dalai Lama taking the jab. This was done so to convince the villagers that the vaccine is safe and is taken by everyone, even by the revered Dalai Lama.
His feat was repeated the following day by the district immunisation team comprising Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Zilla Parishad chairperson, District Immunisation Officer (DIO), three nurses and a vaccinator who also trekked for eight hours and reached the village and vaccinated every villager above 60 years.
The village has rocky forested terrain and can only be reached on foot and the nearest primary health centre is around 60 km from the village at Jang.
Except for one 95-year-old individual, who did not wish to be pricked at this age, everyone else in the age group took the COVID-19 jab.
This is not the lone case of COVID-19 immunisation teams are defying odds and challenging their limits to reach people for vaccination.
In another remote village in another part of the country, a vaccination drive was carried out zealously and the immunisation workers did their best to convince the people to come up for vaccination.
The village is Sukma- a tribal and Naxal-affected district in Chhattisgarh- which is 2200 kilometres from the small hamlet of Tawang district.
In Sukma, the immunisation team was on a mission to immunise everyone above 18 years.
The Sarpanch and community leaders of the village helped the immunisation team in mobilising the villagers and the team first vaccinated all the community leaders and then used their pictures to convince the villagers.
The community leaders also help the team with arranging tractors or trolleys so that villagers could come to the vaccination booth on the day of immunisation.
Several villages in the district are 50-60 kilometres away from the national highway and around 90-95 per cent of people were above 45 in these villages had already received their first dose of the vaccine.”
The union health ministry has informed that the COVID-19 vaccination has picked up pace in the rural, remote and tribal areas of the country and COVID-19 vaccination per million population in tribal districts is higher, 1,73,875, than the national average of 1,68,951, with 128 out of 176 tribal districts performing better than all India vaccination coverage.
As per the data available on Co-WIN as of June 3, the gender ratio for people vaccinated is also better in tribal districts.