English | Dzongkha Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Health ministry initiates home-based vaccination for people with mobility issues

Jul 25, 2021

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine could be a choice and an easy task for many. But it can be quite a challenge for people who cannot walk or move. To make sure that everyone gets vaccinated against the Coronavirus, the health ministry initiated home-based vaccination for people with mobility issues across the country beginning yesterday.

One of the teams is based at Gidagom hospital in Thimphu. Consisting of five health officials the team is visiting places that are far away from the capital.

The day begins at 9 AM for the medical team. Doctor Sonam Lhamo, a General Medical Duty Officer with the Gidagom hospital is one of the team members. Carrying oxygen, first aid box, vaccine carrier, and personal protective equipment, Sonam Lhamo and her team members passionately gear up for the day’s work. They are headed to Lingzhiphakha, around eight kilometres away from Gidagom.

“What we do is we get information from the tshogpas and the community health workers. We maintain a list and vaccinate the listed people accordingly. So it’s basically for people with disabilities and the elderly population,” Sonam explains.

Among the people they vaccinated on the first day of the home-based vaccination campaign, is 98-year-old Sangay Zangmo from Monggar. It is her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. And although Sangay looked quite healthy for her age as she takes the jab, she can hardly remember anything. So on her behalf, our reporter Kelzang Choden interviewed Sangay’s granddaughter Rinchen Pemo.

“We thought of getting her vaccinated during the first nationwide vaccination campaign. But she was not well. Now she is doing fine and she wants to get vaccinated. She is brave. She cannot remember anything but she prays for everybody’s wellbeing,” said Rinchen.

The team identifies people with mobility issues from the Bhutan Vaccine System. Following the pre-vaccination screening, over the phone, the team members communicate the timing for the vaccination prior to visiting homes.

After vaccinating the people at Lingzhiphakha, the team rides through the bumpy roads that lead to Tshe Lung Nye which is around 19 kilometres away from Gidagom. They are vaccinating the nuns, monks, tshampas, and people of different ages. The team has vaccinated around 162 people in Thimphu as of today evening.

Although they look exhausted by the end of the day, the smiles on people’s faces keep them motivated to carry on with the same task the next day in a different location.

Kelzang Choden

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