Bhubaneswar, July 15: The UNICEF Odisha on Thursday organised a virtual orientation programme of media personnel on the existing COVID situation especially in tribal districts of Nabarangpur, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj.
Participating as a panelist in the orientation programme, Rajinder Chaudhry, ADG Odisha Region under Ministry of Information and Broadcasting highlighted the need to remove vaccine hesitancy in the tribal pockets in order to tackle the upcoming waves.
“There might be a possibility of a third wave. Some countries have started reporting higher numbers of COVID positive cases recently, but the fatalities are less. From this, we can judge that vaccination is the key to stay safe,” Chaudhry said.
He said that be it any number of waves, but after vaccination, their impact is lesser as is being witnessed in some countries now. “So we need to focus on vaccinating as many people as we can as soon as possible. We need to ensure that before the upcoming waves, we are vaccinated,” he said.
Chaudhry lauded the role of organizations like UNICEF, ROB and FOBs in generating awareness about the disease and the vaccine at field level. “As communicators, our field officials need to reach out to the problem. Vaccine hesitancy, which is being witnessed among some tribals, needs to be removed,” he said.
During the programme, Dr. Anil Patnaik of UNICEF Odisha gave a brief presentation and stressed on following COVID appropriate behavior at all times even after vaccination. “We need to do SMS – Social Distancing, Masking and Sanitisation on a daily basis,” he said.
Dr Patnaik also talked about double masking and said that it is very important especially now, but we need to know what kind of mask needs to be used. He also talked about vaccination of pregnant and lactating women and its benefits.
Dr Prativa Pradhan Joint Director (Child Health) said that the state has been moving steadily in the direction of achieving 100 percent vaccinations. So far more than 1 crore people in the state have already received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, she said.
She said that the state is taking all the possible steps to remove vaccine hesitancy especially in the tribal belt. “Anganwadi and ASHAs are conducting door-to-door campaigning to sensitise the people and it is yielding results,” she said.
The orientation programme was coordinated by Ms Radhika Srivastava, CAP Specialist, UNICEF Odisha. It was also attended by Akhil Kumar Mishra, Director, Regional Outreach Bureau, Bhubaneswar and ADPHOs of Nabarangpur, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar.