North West health dept embarks on outreach programme to register the elderly for vaccination

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The North West Health Department says it has embarked on an outreach programme to register as many elderly people as possible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

There have been concerns that elderly people in far flung rural areas may not be able to register due to technological challenges.

The Health Department says the outreach programme started two weeks ago.

According to North West provincial health authorities, over 100 000 elderly people have already been registered for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Ogolotse Kooper (79) and his partner Anna Kegopotsemang (87) in Ga-Manyai near Ganyesa have also registered to be vaccinated.

They are among those who have benefitted from the government’s outreach programme.

North West Health MEC Madoda Sambatha says the department is taking the vaccine registration outreach programme to villages in Ganyesa, this coming week.

Sambatha says, “We do go to the same people during elections, Local Government Elections, we are going to know where they stay. During vaccination, we just know as the government where they stay, that’s why we have a program at the Department of Health. First, assisted registration at home. Secondly, assisted registration at facilities.”

Meanwhile, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) in the North West says its members who are responsible for vaccinating the elderly people must be vaccinated.

Nehawu’s Deputy Provincial Secretary Ignatius Msoki says, “Our concern is that they are on a second lap of vaccinating the elderly people, whereas we have not yet finished the first one of vaccinating the healthcare workers. Imagine I must go and vaccinate an elderly, whereas I have not vaccinated myself.”

Over 18 000 elderly people have already been vaccinated in the North West.