Shashi Bala Saroj, a Swachhagrahi and Anganwadi worker of Narayanpur Buzurd GP in Puranpur Block of Pilibhit District in UP has been working towards addressing the gender gap in COVID-19 vaccination. Owing to her efforts in sensitizing people, as many as 138 individuals were vaccinated, of which 80 were women.
The frontline worker (FLW) aims to get the whole community vaccinated soon and, in this regard, has been visiting homes to generate awareness and motivate people to get vaccinated. Realising that there was a huge gender gap in vaccination, she has increased focus on women, motivating them to get the jab and overcome their fears. She has helped with the entire process including accompanying many of them to the vaccination centre.
Ms. Shashi Bala Saroj was one of the 15,406 Swachhagrahis and frontline workers (FLW) who attended an online orientation on COVID appropriate behaviours (CAB), its containment and management in rural areas. The grassroot workers were trained on the entire process – beginning from house-to-house surveillance to adherence to the cremation protocols. The online training was organised by UNICEF in collaboration with the Department of Panchayat Raj, UP from 18 May to 4 June 2021.
Participants included Swachhagrahis, ASHA, ANM, schoolteachers, and district SBM(G) team who attended sessions chaired by Nodal Officer PRD-UP and respective Divisional Deputy Director (Panchayat) and facilitated by UNICEF and PRD state team.
State officials have attributed the increase in people coming forward to take the vaccine to the Swachhagrahis who helped bring positivity and acceptance of the vaccine in the rural areas.
Here are some of the interventions by other frontline workers, post the orientation:
Ms. Krishna Devi, Kasganj District
The Gram Pradhan of Sarsait GP in Amanpur Block, Kasganj district successfully busted the myths and fears experienced by people about the COVID-19 vaccine. She was responsible for motivating 135 individuals to get vaccinated by leveraging the support of frontline workers to conduct awareness generation activities in the village.
Mr. Anup Midhra, Shrawasti District:
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Swachhagrahi from Bhagwanpur GP in Sirsiya block, has played a major role in the containment and management of COVID-19 in his village. He is consistently making the community aware of the importance of the vaccine, busting myths and fears pertaining to the same. He has also helped 75 people to register for the vaccine and got them successfully vaccinated. As a member of the Nigrani Samiti, he has been teaching COVID-19 appropriate behaviour (CAB) and monitoring the same amongst the community while supporting hygiene and sanitation activities.
Ms. Veena Devi, Deoria District:
The Swachhagrahi and Aganwadi workerof Nagroli GP in Gairibazar block, after getting herself vaccinated has motivated 46 others in the village to get vaccinated. She has also been engaged in house-to-house surveillance, distributing medicines and other essential supplies. At the same time, she has been involved in educating the community on COVID-19 preventive measures such as handwashing with soap for a minimum of 40 seconds, use of mask properly and maintaining 6 feet physical distance.
Ms. Suman Devi, Aligarh district
The Swachhagrahi and Anganwadi workerfrom Shekhupur Satakna GP in Vijaoli Block has taken various initiatives with the objective of streamlining the vaccination process. Having conducted a survey to map the number of people above 18 years of age who are eligible to be vaccinated, she listed 1255 individuals who needed to be vaccinated. That the vaccine is biggest tool to fight COVID-19, she emphasises continuously. Thus far, she has motivated 70 people out of 1255 to get the jab. She is also supporting the Gram Pradhan in COVID-19 management initiatives.
*Read entire report: https://sujal-swachhsangraha.gov.in/node/4256
By: Ms. Ananya Ghoshal, WASH Officer, UNICEF Uttar Pradesh