India is one of the countries most affected by the Covid19 pandemic, and the spread of the virus has had serious consequences and many casualties. The “A vaccine for All” campaign has therefore decided to target the rural populations of India as its second symbolic action.
The Initiative for Rural India project, in collaboration with Shanti Ashram through its International Centre for Child and Public Health (ICPH) in Coimbatore, led to information material being produced in Tamil (the local language) and English, to raise awareness of the importance of being vaccinated and dispel certain myths that were hindering the spread of prevention messages and the vaccination itself.
In addition to raising awareness, field workers collected data on the most fragile and vulnerable groups needing the vaccine, including families living in extreme poverty, single mothers, HIV-positive patients and people with disabilities, and supported the vaccination campaign among the elderly and adolescents.
Shanti Ashram’s research team also continued to conduct analyses and needs assessments both for its own use and for the government of Tamil Nadu. The Research Desk publishes articles on the impact of COVID-19 on people’s mental health and vulnerable children.
From January, when the project started, to March 2022, 802 people have been vaccinated in the villages of Ramachettipalayam, Kasturigarden, Maraimalainagar, Sentamilnagar, Gandhinagar, Thiruvalluvarnagar, Kuniamuthur, Nagarajapuram, Kurumbapalayam. In order to reach everyone, especially those who, due to extreme poverty and lack of access to technology, risked being left out of the administration, action was taken at the ICPH campus and through mobile clinics that went directly into the villages.
On the occasion of World Women’s Day, Shanti Ashram also had the opportunity to participate in celebrations to recognise the enormous commitment and contribution made during the most critical phases of the pandemic by nurses and health workers, particularly women. With all their efforts and their humanity they provided treatment, vaccination and help for the entire population.