Covid-19 vaccination programme for homeless on Aug 8, 2021

Fatimah (standing, second right) and Tiong (on Fatimah's right) reassuring a DBD Kuching resident about to receive a Covid-19 jab. Also seen are Harden (left) and Noriah (second left).

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KOTA SAMARAHAN, July 19: The Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development (KWKPK) will organise a Covid-19 vaccination programme for the homeless on Aug 8, 2021.

Its Minister Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah said prior to the Homeless Vaccination Operation Programme, the ministry will conduct an observation operation on the homeless from July 19 to Aug 1.

“It is a big challenge for us to vaccinate the homeless. For those who we can get hold of, it is easier. But not for those who do not belong to any institution apart from the fact that they always move around. Not to mention cases where some do not know their own names or do not have identification documents.

“Therefore, we are conducting this observation operation to detect and obtain profiles of the homeless and also manage their vaccination needs,” she said when speaking at the vaccination programme for the residents of Desa Bina Diri (DBD) Kuching here today.

She revealed that the Homeless Vaccination Operation Programme in Sarawak scheduled for Aug 1, will be implemented in nine divisions with integrated cooperation of various agencies such as Residents’ Offices, Divisional Health Offices, Divisional Social Welfare Offices, the police, Immigration Department and local authorities.

Fatimah (second row, centre), Harden (on her right) and others posing for a photograph at the vaccination programme for the residents of Desa Bina Diri Kuching.

Fatimah also disclosed that her ministry is planning to utilise a single-dose vaccine for the inoculation of the homeless, taking into consideration of their situation as they are those who are always on the move.

“Therefore, to prevent dropouts from missing on receiving a second dose, all parties are of the view that a single-dose vaccine injection is suitable for the homeless. The vaccine for the homeless will be available by August,” she added.

Twenty-three out of 28 residents of DBD were vaccinated today. The remaining five people had already received their jabs earlier.

Apart from DBD, a similar programme will be conducted at Sekolah Tunas Bakti Kuching to give vaccines to residents aged 18 and above.

As of July 2021, there are 221 active homeless individuals in Sarawak scattered across Kuching (92), Miri (66), Sibu (30), Bintulu (21), Kapit (6), Sarikei (5) and Sri Aman (1).

Also present were Community Wellbeing Assistant Minister Datuk Francis Harden Hollis, State Social Welfare Department director Noriah Ahmad, DBD Kuching principal Tiong Kunyok, the ministry’s Social Development Council executive secretary Dr Zufar Yadi Brendan Abdullah and Samarahan Health Clinic medical officer Dr Joyoki Chen@Joyce Chen. — DayakDaily