Trickle Up partnered with local government to prevent the spread of Covid-19 among the Indigenous peoples of Nagada, India

Devi Prasad Mahapatra

The pandemic  poses  a grave  health threat to Indigenous peoples who already experience poor access to healthcare, lack of access to essential services, sanitation,  and  other key  preventive measures. As a precautionary measure, Trickle Up in association with district administration started a vaccination drive in Nagada village on June 28, 2021. Over 70% of local residents (106 men and 70 women) from the village received their first dose in a camp organised at Tala Nagada Anganwadi Centre, the local healthcare center. During the vaccination drive, Trickle Up also distributed 70 hygienic kits to project participants.

“The residents here are mostly unaware of the seriousness of the pandemic and it was a task to persuade them to come to the camp for vaccination,” said Dr. Jayadev Nanda, Superintendent of Sukinda Community Health Centre.

Before starting the vaccination drive, the doctors and medical staff addressed the Nagada residents about the importance of Covid vaccination, precautionary measures and personal hygiene. They also demonstrated usage of the materials provided in the hygienic kits to the women of the Juanga tribe. The hygiene kit includes reusable face masks, sanitary pads, hand sanitizer, detergents, and soaps that can be used to protect against Covid-19.

“The vaccination drive is successful because of the continuous efforts from the team members who visited every village to motivate and counsel the community leaders and the every member to come forward for vaccination,” says Padmalochan Mahanta, Project Coordinator for Trickle Up partner organization Shristi. “Trickle Up provided all logistic support and refreshment to the people who were vaccinated today. A total of 125 hygienic kits will be distributed to the women from the each household of Nagada, so that they will be protected from the Covid-19.”

Notably, not a single resident of Nagada has officially been diagnosed with Covid-19 during either the first or second wave of the pandemic. The Trickle Up team and volunteers have conducted awareness programmes to educate the Nagada residents about the virus and prevention techniques, such as the use of masks and maintaining social distance.

After the vaccination drive and distribution of hygienic kits, Trickle Up field officials organized evening meetings with the community to discuss the usage of materials, particularly hand sanitisers and sanitary pads, which will certainly help them to practice the personal hygienic and precautionary measures to keep them safe, clean and healthy during the pandemic.

Situated on a hilltop under Sukinda block, Nagada is divided into three parts—Tala Nagada, Upara Nagada and Majhi Nagada. Around 125 households comprising 320 people belonging to the Juanga tribe that resides in the three hamlets. Juanga is one of the 13 particularly vulnerable tribal groups in the state.

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