By: Ahmad Shabir
Anantnag: A couple of weeks back when a group of people assembled at the health center in Dialgam area of Anantnag district on their turn to get vaccinated, however, none among them was ready to be the first to receive the jab.
Nonetheless, among them was the recently married sister of a doctor. People with fears and apprehensions in their minds about the vaccine started asking her questions and seeking her suggestions.
“Have you talked to your doctor brother and sought her advice before coming for vaccination?” they questioned her.
The woman phoned her brother in presence all the people who had assembled and sought his suggestion.
Her brother, Dr Raashid Rasheed insisted her to be the first to take the jab, telling her that vaccination was the only protection against deadly pandemic.
The medico’s sister stepped forward and took the first jab at the health centre, thus simultaneously laid to rest all the apprehensions of the people present there and followed her too.
“When I asked my recently married sister to get vaccinated first, all others present there also got motivated for vaccination as they thought doctor cannot at least give wrong advice to her sister,” Dr Raashid Rasheed told The Precious Kashmir.
Many people particularly between the age group of 18 to 40 are reluctant to get vaccinated since the French Noble prize winner reportedly claimed that all the vaccinated people will die in next two years.
Posted at a remote Primary Health Center (PHC) in K Kalan village of Medical Block Bijbehara, the medico has been on the forefront in fight against the Covid since the outbreak of the pandemic last year.
After the second wave, which has proved more deadly than the first one, this doctor along with his Paramedical staff and Asha workers has been going door to door not only to treat Covid patients but also for counselling and motivating people for vaccination as well.
In Mahind and K Kalan, two neighboring villages to the PHC, Dr Rasheed is posted at, almost all the people above the age of 60 have got vaccinated. “We had the target of 1700 and we have achieved the 100 percent target. Many people were reluctant but I counselled them about the benefits of vaccine. I was finally able to convince them to get vaccinated,” Dr Rasheed said.
With people between the age group of 18 to 40 continue to showing reluctance, Dr Raashid says doctors, teachers and religious preachers can play a role in motivating the people for vaccination.
“For instance in the area where I live after I suggested my sister to get vaccinated, a lot of people turned up for vaccination. People believe that doctors cannot deceive their own family members with regard to vaccination. I am sure if all the doctors get their families vaccinated in presence of people of their respective areas, it will surely prove to be a big motivational force for the people reluctant to go for vaccination,” Dr Rasheed observed.
Religious preachers, the medico said, during their Friday sermons can also play a major role in motivating the people for vaccination.
He also plans to go door to door to convince to the young people for vaccination by talking to them and clear their misconceptions about the vaccine.
“There has been a lot of rumor mongering about the vaccine that created fears among young population. Now that I am done with the target of above 60, I am now planning to reach out to youngsters to motivate them for vaccination,” Dr Rasheed said.
The medico during the peak of Covid infections found space in many online local dailies and portals for going to door to treat the Covid patients.
A local, Farooq Ahmad Kumar, who had tested positive one and a half month ago said that after testing positive for Covid, Dr Rasheed used to call him on daily basis enquiring about his health and suggesting him do’s and don’ts.
“I had some strong symptoms and it was no less than a torture to be isolated from my little kids. But doctor’s daily calls to me gave me courage to fight the virus. The doctor went door to door to treat the Covid patients in the village. He has been fighting it like a real warrior,” Kumar told Precious Kashmir.
The medico has earned a name in the area for his sympathetic attitude towards the patients. For at least a couple of weeks, he along with his Paramedical staff carried out mass testing in the twin villages.
The medico, however, does not claim the credit for achieving 100 percent vaccination target alone but gives equal credit to his team of Para-medics including Asha workers.
“It was a collective effort by me and my paramedical staff. This team work will continue till this pandemic ends,” the medico said.