Tuesday, 25 January, 2022

Musahars reluctant to receive COVID-19 jabs


By Janarjan Khatri
Sarlahi, Nov. 30: Rampari Majhi of Babarganj in Chandranagar Rural Municipality of Sarlahi, already received the vaccine against COVID-19. However, many family members of the Musahar Community have not shown any interest in receiving the vaccine.
“Many people are reluctant to get vaccinated, they think they would die if they received the vaccine,” said Majhi. It is difficult to raise awareness among the Musahars about the importance of vaccines, she added.

A lot of misinformation is going around about the vaccines. People here think that they will die if they receive the jab.
Rituraj Rishi, chair of the National Musahar Association (NMA), Nepal, said that misconceptions about vaccines still exist among the Musahars. “Our community is at high risk of COVID-19, as they stay in extended families, but still there is lack of proper information regarding the importance of the vaccine,” said Rishi.

An awareness programme regarding the vaccine has not been conducted at our village, due to which people are circulating the misconceptions, he added.
Though some people from the community are visiting the vaccination centre as of late, the ratio is very low, said Rishi.
Most of the breadwinners of the community visit other places for labour work and are deprived of vaccines, said Rishi. The awareness campaign regarding the importance of vaccine is needed for the community, he added.

The risk of spread of COVID-19 in the community is very high due to people’s negligence towards receiving vaccines, said Rishi.
According to the NMA, there are 14,137 Musahar people in Sarlahi. Birendra Sah, a coordinator of the Health Section of the Chandranagar Rural Municipality, said that earlier many people were hesitant about the vaccine, but now they have understood its importance.

According to the District Health Office, Sarlahi, the detail of vaccinated people has not been compiled yet. Ramdular Yadav, vaccine officer of the DHO, said, “The demand for vaccine has not been fulfilled yet, thus details of people vaccinated at the community level have not been collected yet.”

“We will discuss with the local government to collect the details of vaccination status in the community levels,” said Yadav. It is difficult for us to reach the village, so we will coordinate with the local levels, he added.
According to DHO, 241,142 people were fully vaccinated against coronavirus in Sarlahi.