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Dr Wong says this experience has really opened his eyes to many things. — Borneo Post Online pic
Dr Wong says this experience has really opened his eyes to many things. — Borneo Post Online pic

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SIBU, July 19 — An initiative by a doctor from KPJ Sibu Specialist Medical Centre has facilitated the vaccination for up to 15 individuals here, who may otherwise miss out on it due to immobility.

According to Dr Wong Chya Wei, this outreach programme has been going on for about a month.

“A nurse would accompany me, so every time there would be only the two of us, carrying with us a cold box containing the vaccines.

“We cannot do this every day and on the days that we can do it, it’s only after we’ve completed our daily tasks at the centre.

“Usually, we would start our house-to-house rounds at around 6pm,” he told The Borneo Post here, adding that whenever available, they would use the transport from KPJ.

Dr Wong, 56, said the idea derived from a suggestion by those in the Dudong branch of Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) about this service being crucial for those unable to go to any of the vaccination centres (PPVs) in Sibu.

For the record, the vaccination programme run by KPJ Sibu Specialist Medical Centre also covers the Catholic High School here.

“Based from my observation at the PPVs of KPJ Sibu and Catholic High School, there are vaccine recipients who are immobile and they are able to go to these PPVs because their family members can transport them there.

“For convenience, they are able to receive their vaccine jabs while remaining inside the vehicles.

“However, there are those who just cannot leave home. They include bedridden patients, as well as those with physical and mental disabilities. It’s difficult for their families to bring them to the PPVs for vaccination,” he said.

Dr Wong said on his side, he would obtain the names and other details about this group of vaccine recipients, study them and then, arrange for the mobile vaccination drive.

He pointed out that with the help from paediatrician at Sibu Hospital, Dr Toh Teck Hock, he managed to visit the houses of some patients and give them the vaccines.

Dr Wong said to avoid unnecessary waste of time, he would plot the visits according to zones.

This experience had really opened his eyes in terms of understanding the living conditions of the people that he visited, and also the level of awareness of Covid-19 vaccination programme amongst them.

“There’s this house at Jalan Hua Kiew where a couple rented a room on the ground floor.

“The husband had a stroke, and the wife did not have any mode of transport.

“I went inside the house, which looked like a mini longhouse; it had five rooms, each housing one family.

“Everything was inside the room — the family would cook there, sleep there.

“It’s quite a tough condition,” he said, adding that so far, the oldest person whom he has vaccinated is aged around 90, while the youngest is in early 20s.

Dr Wong said prior to carrying out this outreach vaccination programme, he had talked to Sibu Health officer Dr Teh Jo Hun first.

“He (Dr Teh) told me that the ministry had been looking into this but it wanted to get all the mass vaccination drives done first before going out with this service.”

Dr Wong said with his outreach programme already on-going, those who needed help could inform KPJ Sibu Specialist Medical Centre so that any visitation could be arranged.

“There is a saying: ‘If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain’. It is this kind of mentality that we undertake, being a part in this society.

“It’s a bit tiring and time-consuming, but I think at the end of the day, all we want is to for our community to benefit from the vaccination — it is a worthwhile endeavour.

“For the needy folk, this is an extra mile that we can walk,” he pointed out, referring to a proverbial phrase derived from a story retold by English philosopher Sir Francis Bacon in 1625.

Dr Wong also expressed appreciation to KPJ Sibu Specialist Medical Centre and SUPP Dudong for backing up this initiative.

“I am lucky because I have KPJ Sibu and SUPP Dudong to back me up.

“It is a matter of finding out and identifying more needy people out there, and helping them out.” — Borneo Post Online

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