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‘People are Scared that They Won’t Get Adequate Treatment in the Hospital’

Updated: Oct 18, 2022

Q: What kind of challenges are you facing in vaccinating the 45+ population?

Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM): Many people from different villages are coming to the Primary Health Centre (PHC) to get vaccinated. Our target is to administer 100 vaccines per day. We cannot overshoot this. Hence, some people have to be turned away without the vaccine.

The time interval between the two doses of vaccine has been increased now. It is difficult to explain this to people.

Q: What kind of challenges are you facing in vaccinating the 18-44 years of age population?

ANM: Vaccination of people who are 18 years of age or above started from the third week of May. A challenge is that even as the slots get completely booked, not all people turn up for their vaccination. Hence, a lot of the times a few vaccine doses go to waste.

Q: What steps are being taken in case there is a critical COVID-19 patient in the village?

ANM: The Medical Officer and I contact them via phone and talk to them about their symptoms. They are then referred to the designated COVID-19 care hospital.

A lot of times, COVID-19 patients hide information about their health because they are scared that they won’t get adequate treatment in the government hospital. They inform us only when their symptoms really deteriorate, and because of this, they don’t get the required treatment at the right time.

Q: Are other activities like routine immunisation and family planning counselling operational?

ANM: Routine immunisation is taking place as per schedule. However, counselling of women regarding family planning is not happening because we are not allowed to hold meetings right now.

This interview was conducted with an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) in Solan, Himachal Pradesh in Hindi on 30 May 2021, and has been translated.

Source: Arun Sankar/AFP

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