How Tamil Nadu’s Ariyalur district vaccinated all its pregnant residents against Covid-19

By Express News Service

ARIYALUR: The Health Department in Ariyalur has vaccinated 7,187 pregnant women, making the district the first in Tamil Nadu to achieve 100 per cent coverage in inoculating such women.

According to sources, a significant number of pregnant women were affected by the second wave of Covid-19. The initial awareness drive failed to deliver the expected results and only a small section of pregnant women came forward to take the jab owing to various reservations. The department then put its efforts to create awareness on top gear, which ensured in achieving 100 per cent coverage. Collector P Ramana Saraswathi has praised the department for achieving and the public for this.

Ariyalur Deputy Director of Health Department M Geetharani said, “There are 39 Primary Health Centres and three government hospitals and Medical College Hospital in the district. First, we invited pregnant women to be vaccinated by village health nurses in their respective areas. About 30 to 40 pregnant women with an attendant came to the nearest PHC or hospital every day. We then convinced them about the safety and necessity of the vaccine, and as a first step, made their attendant take the shot. Slowly, the women got rid of their fears, and came forward to take the vaccine. This helped us get about 80 per cent coverage.”

 It was, however, a challenge to cover the rest, Geetharani said.

“We made a list of those with health conditions like heart issues, who recently recovered from Covid and went to other districts for delivery. Then, we made a list of women who came here for delivery from other districts. Subsequently, we set up 20  health teams and identified all the pregnant women who had not taken the vaccination. This was addressed by going to their doorstep and giving them the vaccine. We monitor the health of pregnant women who have been vaccinated with the help of village health nurses for three days. Pregnant women in Ariyalur district can call me at 8678925767 to clarify doubts regarding the vaccine and take the jab,” she said.

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