Friday, September 17, 2021

Maharashtra: Remote tribal village shows how to fight vaccine hesitancy

In Maharashtra, skepticism about Covid-19 vaccination among tribal villagers in Nashik district is being reversed through the dedicated efforts of Zilla Parishad’s health staff. Using the tribal language the medical staff made the advocacy in an effective way in remote and tribal-dominated pockets of Surgana Taluka which had longstanding low immunisation coverage.

Surgana Taluka in Nashik district consists of large number of tribal population settled in remote hamlets. These indegenous people had many misconceptions and fear about corona preventive vaccine. In addition, due to no mobile tower in the vicinity, there is consistent problem of internet connectivity. Due to which the tribals have to walk several kilometers from the hilly areas to register themselves for vaccination. This had led a very low turnout of tribals for the vaccination. However, medical officer Dr. Jayendra Thavil and his team of health workers from Pangarane Zilla Parishad went to every tribal hamlet to create awareness among the locals. The team adopted a slew of measures, such as meetings and discussions at the village square. By using the local tribal language, the team effectively communicated with the tribals and encouraged them for the vaccination. The medical team also took the help of local women’s Self-Help Group for reversing vaccine hesitancy among indigeneous people.

 

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