Special Vaccination Sessions benefit the Rohingyas

Bangalore BBMP Covid-19

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has vaccinated undocumented Rohingyas living in Bengaluru.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) came forward to vaccinate some Rohingya refugees who volunteered to be vaccinated. BBMP has conducted special vaccination sessions for COVID vaccination and RT-PCR Tests for them, said Zia Nomani, a social activist working with Rohingya refugees.

Dr. M.K. Sudarshan, District Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Officer BBMP, said that they started special vaccination sessions to ensure vaccination of undocumented immigrants and refugees living in slums. Mr. Mayur Gowda, public relations officer, state health ministry agreed that the vaccination process had started for people without ID cards.

Dr. Sudarshan explained that everyone was registered under the phone number of the person in-charge and received certificates there. Most of them have been vaccinated and are residing in the Dasarahalli Area, Nomani said. He added that despite vaccine hesitancy many refugees got vaccinated. Nobody was forced to be vaccinated he said.

Dr. Soundarya said that they have been trying to mobilize legal and illegal immigrants with the help of Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA)foundation and various Non-Governmental Organisations. Dr. Sudarshan added that they sought help of various social workers to ensure more people got vaccinated.

According to Zia Nomani, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) did not take any initiative for vaccinating the Rohingyas. UNHCR is a United Nations Agency which works for the rights of refugees in accordance with the Convention relating to the Status of Refugee, 1951 and Protocol relating to the Status of Refugee, 1967.

There are 11 documents required for getting vaccinated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It has become difficult for undocumented immigrants and refugees to get vaccinated for COVID – 19. The main priority of BBMP is to get people living in Bengaluru vaccinated, said Dr. Sudarshan.

He said that initially people were hesitant to get vaccinated. People had more confidence in the vaccination process after the second wave. Nomani said that there is still vaccine hesitancy amongst the refugees.

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