Express News Service
HYDERABAD: Nearly two lakh private healthcare workers are set to be vaccinated for Covid-19 in the coming week, which poses a far bigger challenge for Telangana as compared to immunising those in its public health system. The challenges mainly lie with correctly identifying the beneficiaries and rolling out the vaccination programme at private facilities. However, the main hurdles would be of logistics and coordination between the vaccinators and beneficiaries.
Currently, the State has decided to hold the immunisation drive for small nursing homes and clinics at the Primary Health Centre (PHC) nearest to them. In case the number of beneficiaries at a facility is over 100, the vaccination team will function out of the private facility itself. There are thousands of private hospitals, clinics and nursing homes in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits and its neighbouring districts.
“We have decided to start off with the big hospitals where there will be over 100 beneficiaries. Once the vaccination drive is completed there, a plan for the smaller clinics and nursing homes will be chalked out,” Dr K Swarajya Laksmhi, District Medical and Health Officer (DMHO) of Rangareddy district, said. There are 617 private healthcare facilities in the district.
“The vaccinators and data entry staff are all from the public healthcare system, who will have to be transported to private hospitals. We have to ensure that these hospitals have AEFI (adverse event following immunisation) management,” a senior official from the Public Health Department said.
Vax of pvt staff a litmus test for CoWIN app
The official also said, “When it comes to PHC -level sessions, we have to guide them to the nearest centre and establish linkage.” The vaccination of private healthcare workers is going to be a litmus test for the CoWIN app. “In the previous sessions, we were allowing walk-ins for immunisation as they were all our own staff. Also, it was not difficult for us to update them on CoWIN later. But when it comes to immunising the staff of private healthcare facilities, it will be a challenge due to unfamiliarity with the beneficiaries,” an official from Hyderabad district said.
Telangana is also anticipating some difficulty in motivating private healthcare workers. In the government setup where the superintendents, senior doctors, DMHOs and HODs played a crucial role in encouraging their subordinates. “We plan on calling the healthcare workers personally and informing them about the vaccination date and time. We have decided to send our ASHA workers to motivate them to get vaccinated,” Dr M Sudha, Deputy DMHO of Hyderabad, said.
1,10,248 people immunised against Covid-19 in TS so far. In the coming week, nearly two lakh private healthcare workers will be vaccinated