Vaccination outreach programme arrives in hard-to-reach Sabah communities

Medical officials assisting villagers and their children for immunisation shots in Nabawan district.

KOTA KINABALU: Villagers in remote areas of Sabah’s Nabawan district had the opportunity to get routine immunisation shots and other healthcare assistance during a programme by the state Health Department recently.

The collaboration with the Health Ministry and World Health Organisation (WHO) saw medical officials travel about 80km via road from Keningau to various settlements and villages on Tuesday (Dec 6).

Sabah Health Department director Datuk Dr Rose Nani Mudin said the United Malacca Berhad (UMB) Millian Labau Plantation 5 was among the locations visited as part of the immunisation and health screening activities.

She said Nabawan Health Clinic staff carried out immunisation awareness talks, vaccination activities and health screening for estate workers, managers and their families.

Activities were focused especially on routine immunisation and catch-up immunisation for children with missed vaccination, she said in a statement.

“This is particularly important to protect all children from vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, measles and rubella,” Dr Rose Nani said.

“Besides routine immunisation, Covid-19 vaccination including booster doses were offered to eligible people who have not received their shots as well,” she added.

The delegates also visited the Nabawan Health Clinic to assess cold chain and vaccine storage.

Dr Rose Nani said the challenges in providing health services to hard-to-reach areas include terrain, weather and the welfare of the community itself.

Therefore, healthcare programmes done here require deliberate planning and execution to mobilise resources effectively, she said.

“We thank UMB, Keningau and Nabawan district Health Offices and Nabawan Health Clinic for their time, generosity and cooperation,” she said.

On Monday (Dec 5), a micro-planning meeting was held in Kota Kinabalu to review the progress of immunisation activities in selected districts in Sabah, among other matters.

The Health Department also received WHO Country Office vaccination and vaccine-preventable diseases consultant Dr Deepa Gamage, national communications officer Izarra Aizuddin, and Health Ministry Disease Control Division assistant principal director Dr Wan Abdul Hannan Wan Ibadullah.

The entourage was in Sabah for a three-day visit until Wednesday (Dec 7) to improve vaccine coverage in hard-to-reach areas in Sabah, as a part of the Reaching Every District (RED) WHO strategy for immunisation service delivery.

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