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Gujarat: ‘Project Pratiraksha’ launched to ensure last mile vaccine coverage in six districts

The programme is estimated to target a population of five lakh adults across 388 villages in 10 talukas of six districts

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
October 23, 2021 6:22:19 pm
Gujarat has covered nearly 90 per cent of its estimated vaccine-eligible population with the first dose. (File)

Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (India), with the support of the SBI Foundation, launched ‘Project Pratiraksha’, a Covid-19 vaccination awareness drive, in Gandhinagar on Saturday.

The programme is estimated to target a population of five lakh adults across 388 villages in 10 talukas of six districts — Dang, Devbhumi Dwarka, Junagadh, Surat, Narmada and Surendranagar — so as to facilitate vaccination by government health workers in the last mile, given that Gujarat has covered nearly 90 per cent of its estimated vaccine-eligible population with the first dose.

At a press conference held on Saturday, it was stressed that the target is to include migrants in the vaccination programme who may have not been included in the database, identifying and motivating vulnerable groups such as widows, and addressing myths and misconceptions around the vaccine, and to this extent, AKRSP(I) will work in collaboration with the Gujarat health department, primary and community health centres, and health workers.

Lalit Mohan, president and chief operating officer of SBI Foundation added that the SBI is involving itself in the initiative through SBI Foundation as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

Speaking at the press conference, associate professor at the Indian Institute of Public Health Gandhinagar (IIPHG) Dr Anish Sinha, who was extensively involved with the polio vaccine and routine immunisation across several states in India since 2004, added that the challenge of covering the ‘last mile’ can be bifurcated into four groups — urban, rural, tribal and migrant population — and for each of the four groups different strategies and interventions can be adopted.

Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Manoj Aggarwal was also present at the event, who lauded the state and its health workers’ efforts to cover 90 per cent of the vaccine-eligible population with the first dose.

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