Battling the pandemic - GulfToday

Battling the pandemic

COVID-19-vaccine

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The pace of vaccinations in Asia and Africa is very tardy. Most African countries have not received any vaccines. This gives time to developing countries to evolve rigorous delivery systems for the vaccines. Whilst working in an African country, our company had to sell small packs of toothpaste to villages, which were inaccessible due to lack of roads. The company pioneered a “Mama-Mia” Programme, which is, “Hundred Mamas” Programme. A 100 housewives collected a carton of toothpaste in the morning, sold it to villagers in their homes and returned the cash every evening. They received a salary for the day.

The scheme can be amended to “Covid-19 Foot Soldiers”. Health workers could carry an ice-box of vaccines to villages, which are inaccessible by road and inoculate the villagers. Each team of two “Covid-19 Foot-Soldiers”, should aim to cover at least one village with 500 vaccinations per day. The Foot Soldiers will have to be trained thoroughly and also provided with hand-held terminals and micro printers for recording their vaccinations.

The “Covid-19 Foot-Soldiers” should liaise with the village headman or priest about the dates, times and place of inoculation. The vaccination will carry credibility if they are undertaken in the premises of a public health centre, local church, mosque or school. Retired doctors and health workers, residing in the villages can also assist the “Covid-19 Foot-Soldiers”. A manual detailing the work of the “Foot-Soldiers” and how to conduct the vaccination can be prepared by WHO and circulated across countries.

They can also add some merriment to the occasion by distributing small packs of biscuits to people or balloons to the accompanying children. Every country should aim to create this “Covid-19 Foot-Soldiers” army to battle the pandemic.

Rajendra Aneja
Mumbai, India

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