Maharashtra: Amravati and Hingoli set example with repeated 100% turnout
Rural districts like Amravati and Hingoli are setting an example for cities by attaining repeated 100% turnout for both Covid-19 vaccinates—Covaxin and Covishield. District health officials said timely intimation and counselling hold the key to their success.
Amravati has a daily target to vaccinate 500 healthcare workers (HCWs), of which 100 are for Covaxin and the remaining 400 for Covishield. On Friday, the district recorded 116% turnout, as they vaccinated 558 healthcare workers (HCWs). Hingoli attained a 100% success rate by inoculating the targeted 200 HCWs.
Since the beginning of the mass immunisation programme on January 16, all 36 districts are facing technical glitches in the centralised CoWIN application, which has marred their spirit to a great extent. Despite these shortfalls, the two districts—Amravati and Hingoli have been attaining 100% turnout repeatedly by adopting different strategies.
Timely dissemination of information has helped achieve a maximum number of HCWs. “We start calling the registered beneficiaries by 5pm. As our daily target is 200 HCWs, we are done with our calling within two hours. This gives enough time to HCWs in getting ready for their next day’s vaccination,” said Dr Shivaji Pawar, district health officer (DHO), Hingoli.
Counselling has also helped to boost the morale of HCWs in the hospital. “We have been counselling HCWs, both, before and after vaccination. Along with that, while setting up appointments over the phone, our officers counsel anyone who shows resistance and make them understand the importance of the vaccination,” said Dr Dilip Ranmale, DHO, Amravati.
All 36 districts in Maharashtra have started the walk-in vaccination for HCWs who are registered on the centralised Co-WIN application. Now, all the 285 vaccination sites had inoculated the registered HCWs even if they don’t appointment for the day by clicking on the newly added option— ‘add beneficiary’. With this, the number of overall turnouts has increased further.
“Since the start of this facility, I am getting more than the targeted figure. For instance, we vaccinated 551 beneficiaries on Wednesday and 558 on Friday. Even though it adds on to the pressure, we never turn away any beneficiaries,” said Dr Ranmale.
The CoWIN app has been regenerating the old names of the beneficiaries in the new list. To address the issue, the districts have been shortlisting more than the targeted beneficiaries which helped to get more HCWs for immunisation. “After the first day of the immunisation, we understood that we need to invite more than the targeted number which will help in better turnout. So, if we have 200 targets, we call 250 people,” said Dr Pawar.
The HCWs include doctors, nurses, ward boys, ASHA and Anganwadi workers. So, the health officers have created WhatsApp groups of the HCWs according to their profile. “If we want to vaccinate 50 ASHA workers, we also inform their leaders who quickly pass on the messages timely. So, we have also created such groups which help in passing on the information faster,” said Dr Pawar.