Homeless individuals get vaccinated

Fatimah treats a homeless who participated in the vaccination programme.

BINTULU: Eighteen homeless people around the city received the CanSino Covid-19 vaccine on Saturday night (Sept 25). 

Three of them were vaccinated at the Bintulu Resident Office, seven at the Bintulu Esplanade while the other eight homeless received the vaccination at Medan Bintulu.

Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Child Development, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, said they were among 48 homeless people identified for the programme in the Bintulu division.

She said Bintulu was the final destination for the implementation of the state-wide programme which started on July 25.

The homeless vaccination operations in each division were carried out either at temporary homeless accommodation centre (PPSG), at vaccination centre (PPV), or on the move, she said at a press conference on the Homeless Community Vaccination Programme at the Resident Office here, Saturday night.

Fatimah said, among the challenges faced included the health status of homeless people such as being under the influence of drugs, mental health issues, and identity document problems.

“Tonight’s operations was carried out on the move with the team performing vaccinations at the homeless locations that have been identified,” she said.

She explained that the issue of homelessness needed to be given due attention and required an integrated, collaborative, collective and holistic approach.

“Therefore, we have approved an allocation to set up a Homeless Transit Point (TTG) with the first expected to be completed soon using the old Maksak building in Sibu,” she said.

She said the TTG would serve as a transit point for homeless people to clean themselves, have dinner and sleep before going out the next day to do their business.

“At TTG, they can also be given the necessary intervention references to address the issues faced, participate in the ‘social enterprise’ provided, and given guidance and counselling.”

The Executive Secretary of Sarawak Social Development Council (MPS), Dr Zufar Yadi Brendan Abdullah, chairman of Bintulu Division Disaster Management Committee and Bintulu Division Resident Jack Aman Luat, Sarawak Social Welfare Department director Noriah Ahmad also participated in the vaccination programme.