Low vaccination in housing colonies and apartment

In a move to expand the scope of vaccination drive in Kathmandu valley, the government is planning to launch awareness campaigns targeting people in housing colonies and apartment complexes.

The move comes after volunteers, who work on the forefront in administering vaccines to children, complained about non-cooperation from those living in colonies and apartment complexes.

"In every vaccination drive, some 15 per cent of children are left out," said Bishwo Ram Shrestha, chief of the District Public Health Office (DPHO) of Kathmandu.

"It is mainly because our health volunteers are not allowed to enter housing colonies to vaccinate the children living there." According to Shrestha, last year, a woman health volunteer who tried to enter a colony compound in Baneshwar to vaccinate children was shooed away. "The residents unleashed a dog against her," Shrestha said, adding, "She broke one of her legs in a bid to escape.”

Officials at the Department of Health Services (DoHS) say that people residing in housing colonies are less aware of the importance of vaccination despite being educated. "Most of them think such campaigns are meant for poor, not for well-off people like them," a DoHS official said.

Health officials believe that difficulty in penetrating apartment complexes and housing colonies has hindered the government´s drive to vaccinate each and every child.

As the valley embraces modern lifestyle, people, mainly those who prefer a nuclear family, are increasingly choosing to settle in apartment complexes and housing colonies. According to the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC), there are some 90 housing colonies and apartment complexes in the valley.
source:Poudel, Arjun(2011),"Low vaccination in housing colonies and apartment", republica, 14 March 2011

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