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Building confidence in Covid-19 vaccines in Lalmonirhat

  • Published at 08:41 pm July 31st, 2021
Brac Lalmonirhat
Brac health worker Masuda Begum assisting folks to register for the Covid vaccine in Barbari union under the Sadar upazila of Lalmonirhat on Wednesday Dhaka Tribune

Health workers are going door to door pushing folks to be vaccinated and sign up for vaccination

Over a thousand Brac health workers are currently making door to door visits in Lalmonirhat to encourage and assist locals in registering and getting vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus that has been wreaking havoc across the country.

Moreover, 11 mobilizer teams, 26 hotspot teams and 176 community clinic (CC) group committees have been engaged in awareness-raising activities and rapid response.

On a visit around Lalmonirhat town on Wednesday, this correspondent witnessed several Covid-related programs being undertaken by Brac under its Community Fort in Resisting Covid-19 (CFRC) project, which is currently operational in 35 high-risk districts.

Formed at the union level, each CC group committee comprises 17 local members who are being empowered with knowledge on Covid-19 related issues to ensure preventive behaviour at the hotspots, such as mosques, transport hubs, markets and shops.

Sakhawat Hossain Sujan, a Brac hotspot worker, said: “Some people were still moving in the rural marketplaces after the government ordered the lockdown. We are providing masks and flyers to these individuals in order to raise awareness. In addition, we are urging anyone experiencing Covid symptoms to seek treatment at the closest government hospital. We are implementing the public awareness initiative in this manner at 240 selected hotspots in the district.”

Later, this correspondent met with Brac health worker Masuda Begum in Barbari union under the Sadar upazila.

Masuda Begum said that if a person had Covid symptoms, he or she was transferred to a nearby hospital for a Covid test. “Aside from that, I'm going door to door pushing folks to be vaccinated and sign up for vaccination.”

According to Ashraful Islam, Brac’s district office manager, these work areas are divided into three parts: Lalmonirhat and Aditmari upazilas, Kaliganj and Hatibandha upazilas, and Patgram upazilas. Masuda Begum is one of 70 public health employees in the district.

Islam said: “From March 18 to July 28, Brac assisted 5,207 persons in the district in getting registered for the coronavirus vaccine. These individuals have already been immunized. In addition, 750,000 masks were given around the district. Telemedicine has helped 436 people so far. A total of 54 persons with Covid symptoms have received free medication.”

According to Lalmonirhat Civil Surgeon Dr Nirmalendu Roy, “Brac’s health personnel are working with us to promote awareness about Covid and distribute masks among the population. They're also urging folks to get vaccinated and assisting them with registration.”

With a community-driven Covid-19 response and local-level health system strengthening approach, Brac has partnered with the DGHS, CSO Alliance and UN agencies to implement this initiative. A total of 41 local NGOs in the identified districts have been acting as implementing partners.

Brac is putting maximum emphasis on the proper use of masks to ward off transmission. The other approaches include disseminating information and motivation about handwashing with soap and water, maintaining coughing etiquette and social distancing and going for vaccine registration. Measures are also being taken to address misinformation and rumours around Covid-19.

Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Dr Morseda Chowdhury, director of health, nutrition and population program (HNPP) at Brac, said: “Brac and partners are supporting local government health offices in Covid-19 vaccination registration and mobilization. Health workers and volunteers are actively engaged in addressing myths and rumours creating vaccine hesitancy at the community level as well.”

This story has been published in partnership with Brac