100-year-old disabled woman advocates for home vaccination, hospital refuses to cite government standards
Padma Ranganathan, a 100-year-old woman who cannot walk due to her age and physical disability, lives in N Block in Saket, an upscale settlement in South Delhi.
A few hundred yards from her home is the Max Super Specialty Hospital, where the vaccination campaign is in full swing.
Ranganathan’s daughter, Dr Reena Ramachandran, has asked hospital staff to vaccinate her mother at home as she is not only a hundred years old but also a paraplegic.
“The hospital staff are nice and courteous, but they say the state government standard does not allow them to vaccinate anyone at home,” said Dr Ramachandran.
She adds, “Even if somehow we manage to get her to the hospital in an ambulance, there is a high probability that she could contract the infection. It puts his life in danger. “
Outlook spoke to many hospitals who said their hands were tied because the Union Health Ministry circular did not allow them to do a door-to-door vaccination.
“Even state governments cannot do anything if the Centre’s circular does not allow home vaccination. The Union Health Ministry needs to make policy changes, ”said a doctor from a private hospital, which is part of the ongoing vaccination campaign.
Dr Satendra Singh, head of organization, Doctors with Disabilities: Agents of Change, a pan-Indian organization of health professionals with disabilities, accuses both the Center and the state government of failing to relax standards home vaccination for people with disabilities or vulnerable to infection.
Dr Singh sent an email to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Protection in Delhi to immunize the elderly and disabled at home by launching a door-to-door vaccination campaign.
“Following the outrage of the media and suo moto knowledge of these reports published in the media, the Delhi Commissioner for People with Disabilities asked the Divisional Commissioner to create COVID vaccination centers dedicated to people with disabilities in the eleven districts fiscal. Dr Singh wrote in an email.
“Unfortunately, there is no clarity, with some recommending vaccination for people aged 45 and over and others indicating that people aged 18 and over will be treated later,” he said. added.
On May 27, 2021, the Union Department of Health requested states / UTs to follow its guidelines for Nearby COVID Vaccination Centers (NHCVCs) for the elderly and disabled. The guidelines aim to promote the community approach in facilities that are not part of health facilities and that are closer to home, for example, a community center, an RWA center / office, a panchayat ghar, school buildings, retirement homes, etc.
Dr Singh says the guidelines are still too ambitious and that many people with severe disabilities or the elderly may still not be able to access these services outside of their homes, and they should not be forgotten.
He argues that Rule 19 (2) of the Delhi Disability Rights Rules, 2018 requires the Delhi National Capital Territory government to develop programs to help benchmark disabled people with high support needs. (HSN).
Dr Singh also wrote: “Gender dysphoria in public places, lack of government ID cards, historical abuse in medical facilities, insufficient internet access, misinformation and stigma are the key factors affecting disproportionately their health care as well as vaccine acceptance. “
“Rather than reducing existing disparities, we are creating new disparities due to the digital divide and the focus on the CoWIN app / website. Both Assam and West Bengal have launched a priority vaccination campaign for transgender people, ”added Dr Singh, reiterating his call to launch a door-to-door vaccination campaign for the marginalized population.
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