THE Kedah Zakat Board has offered its mobile clinic to carry out vaccination exercise under the outreach programme for elderly folk and the physically disabled in rural areas in the state.
Its first stop was at Kampung Perik’s Masjid Jamek Al-Islah, where more than 100 senior citizens and the disabled had gathered as early as 8am on Thursday to receive their vaccination for Covid-19.
The mobile unit arrived at the mosque, located about 45km from Alor Setar, at about 9am.
Kedah Zakat Board chief executive officer Syeikh Zakaria Othman said the RM340,000 mobile clinic has facilities like a bed, refrigerator, emergency equipment and oxygen.
“It can also be used to perform minor surgery if needed,” he said.
The outreach programme carried out in collaboration with the Padang Terap district Health Department and district office, will see the mobile unit visiting mosques in Kedah every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday to offer vaccination services for the elderly and the physically challenged.
Syeikh Zakaria said the board bore the maintenance cost of the vehicle while Kedah Medical Centre (KMC), which the board works closely with, provided a specialist doctor and four medical staff members to run the mobile unit.
Villager Che Mut Abu Samah, 63, from Kampung Perik, said he was glad that the board provided the services for the elderly and the disabled.
“It was very easy for me to go to the mosque because my house is just nearby.
“The vaccine dispensing centre (PPV) is located about 12km away at Kuala Nerang town.
“This mobile vaccination unit makes it possible for us to have our wish to be vaccinated fulfilled,” said Che Mut, whose left leg was amputated two years ago due to diabetes.
Abdullah Man, 70, of Kampung Perik also, came in crutches as early as 8am to get his vaccine dose.
“This mobile unit will definitely benefit people like me,” he said, adding that he was not scared of getting vaccinated.
Abdullah urged people not to listen to rumours and to come forward to get themselves vaccinated.
His neighbour Yahya Said, 75, who is paralysed and has been using a wheelchair for 15 years, echoed Abdullah’s sentiments and added that people should realise that vaccination would help break the chain of infection.
Although more than 100 villagers turned up on Thursday for the programme, only 50 received their first dose of the vaccine due to limited supply of vaccines.
Padang Terap district officer Datuk Md Shuhaime Abd Rahman, who is also the district’s Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF) director, said the district is currently facing a shortage of vaccine supply.
He hoped the Government would look into allocating more vaccines to the Kedah Health Department.
“The additional supply of vaccines can be channelled to the Padang Terap district to get as many residents inoculated and
I hope this will help the district to return to its green zone status,” he added.
Md Shuhaime said a drive-thru vaccination programme would be held at the district office next week, targeting those in their 20s and 30s.
“The outreach programme needs an additional 3,000 doses of vaccine while the drive-thru programme needs another 3,000 to 4,000 doses,” he pointed out.