Religious and tribal leaders pledge support to COVID vaccination

Raipur, Feb 18:
Religious, community and tribal leaders in Chhattisgarh today pledged their support to COVID vaccination rollout in the state. The leaders also assured their support for promoting COVID appropriate behaviours like wearing mask, handwashing with soap and keeping physical distance of six feet.
Over 30 leaders, across the state participated in the interaction, organised by UNICEF and the Government of Chhattisgarh, here today.
“The interaction helped us to clear the misconception and misinformation around COVID-19 vaccination and we will share the key messages on COVID vaccination with our congregation” said Father Sebastian of the Roman Catholic Church. Salam Rizvi, former Chairperson of the Waqf Board of Chhattisgarh appealed to his community to get COVID19 vaccination. The tribal leaders from Bastar and Sarguja region also pledged their support to the vaccination efforts and assured to be strong advocates of the vaccine in the most marginalised communities. Harpal Singh, representative of the Sikh community said that the community will raise awareness on COVID19 vaccination through a series of health camps and will provide volunteers to promote the drive. Mohammad Murtaza of Bohra community assured his support for the government’s vaccination efforts. Leaders of Satnami and Shradani communities also pledged support.
Job Zachariah, Chief of UNICEF Chhattisgarh said “Faith and tribal leaders wield immense influence in the family and the community. We want their support in promoting COVID vaccination and COVID appropriate behaviour in their places of worship and in the community”. He added that the socio-economic impact of COVID worsens the health, nutrition, education and protection of children. “Therefore, we need to prevent COVID at any cost”, he said
Dr Amar Singh Thakur, State Immunization Officer, Government of Chhattisgarh briefed the gathering on health department’s efforts, Dr Sridhar Ryavanki, Health Specialist of UNICEF Chhattisgarh shared key information on COVID19 vaccination and Abhishek Singh, Communication for Development, UNICEF Chhattisgarh moderated the interactive session.

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