28 Desa Bina Diri homeless receive first dose of vaccine

KOTA SAMARAHAN: All 28 occupants of Desa Bina Diri Kuching Institution in Jalan Datuk Mohd Musa here have completed their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Sarawak Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said 23 were vaccinated on Monday (July 19) while the rest had received the vaccine at an earlier date.

“Today (Monday), 16 men and 12 women, who are homeless and suffering from physical and mental disabilities, have completed their first dose of the vaccine.”

Fatimah added that vaccination at Desa Bina Diri was different as the residents were unable to fill in the consent form themselves.

“Therefore, the authorities have been authorised to fill in the consent form on their behalf.

“Social Welfare Department (JKM) personnel were also on duty from early in the morning to keep them calm so that they are not afraid of getting their jabs.”

Fatimah explained that the Desa Bina Diri Kuching Institution is one of the institutions under JKM and one of five in the country.

“Desa Bina Diri was gazetted under the Destitute Persons Act 1977 in November 2014 as a place for the homeless to receive care, protection and rehabilitation,” she said, adding that the institution would also train residents to adapt and reintegrate themselves into society as well as equip themselves with learning and skills basics.

She also thanked healthcare workers from the Samarahan Divisional Health Office, in charge of vaccinating the occupants.

“Outreach programmes are one of the state’s efforts to ensure that more people are vaccinated as well as to prevent anyone from being left out.”