bmobile Supports SEWA TT Vaccination Drive
TSTT Corporate Communications
Citizens of T&T have been doing their duty at dozens of vaccination sites around the country, lining up for their first and second doses of the available Astra Zeneca, Sinopharm and Pfizer iterations. Many vaccinations have been administered via sites explicitly established for this purpose rather than at the nation's medical institutions. However, most citizens may not realise that these sites are being operated by numerous Civil Society Organisations (CSO's) and executed by persons volunteering their time, efforts, and energy. One organisation, SEWA TT (pronounced See-Wa), has been overseeing the vaccination of as many as 3000 persons every day from their location at the Divali Nagar.
This is a considerable feat involving the training and coordination of volunteers, collaboration between Public Health organisations and, of course, the corralling of thousands of people daily in line with Public Health measures. It is being done with the immense goodwill of citizens and with the assistance of corporate bodies to ensure that T&T gets to the necessary levels of vaccinated persons to push back against the continued spread of covid-19. While 33.6% of the population have completed one dose and 24.75% are fully vaccinated, keeping the continued effective vaccination efforts in motion is vital.
As the nation's native telecommunications provider, bmobile has been committed to ensuring that citizens get vaccinated and has supported this with Vaccin868, a national campaign featuring recognised entrepreneurs and other well-known faces. One area of interest for the company is ensuring that people are fully knowledgeable about the vaccine in light of the vast amount of information (and misinformation) available online. Another challenge, however, is ensuring that people are up to date with their appointments. As such, bmobile partnered with SEWA TT to offer complimentary use of the SMS text platform, which would allow appointments to be easier set for second doses. Persons who completed their first dose at this location will be sent an SMS alert with a day and time for their next appointment within World Health Organisation-stipulated guidelines. This massively increases the speed and efficiency of the effective range in which persons can get their second dose.
SEWA International TT President Revan Teelucksingh explained that his organisation has been involved in the fight against covid-19 from day one. "We were one of the first organisations to start producing masks in 2020 at a time when masks were in short supply locally. And we have also been keenly involved in providing relief hampers too. So, we were prepared with a vaccination plan which we produced and submitted to the Ministry of Health in December 2020." Since then, SEWA TT has worked with other partners to see that 70,000 citizens so far have been vaccinated. And with the support of the bmobile text platform, they can now easily ensure that persons are aware of their upcoming appointments to ensure that there are controlled and orderly influxes of people to their site. This will also encourage persons to keep their second dose dates as the information is readily available.
Gerard Cooper, General Manager Shared Services at TSTT, explained the company's continued commitment to national vaccination drives, noting their admiration for the dedication of organisers and volunteers. "Seeing people come out to be vaccinated is heart-warming as it signals a faster return to some level of stability and normalcy. But even more than that, is seeing ordinary citizens take up the mantle of responsibility at a time when we need it the most and do truly heroic
things like those at SEWA TT have been doing. We are participating by leveraging the technology we have invested in, to make their work, the important work that it is, easier."
Teelucksingh noted that he also stands in awe of the efforts in the last few weeks. "Our teams have been working non-stop for close to 12 weeks and in the beginning, 90% of these volunteers were not vaccinated - so they were also putting their lives on the line. But that is the essence of SEWA - which means Selfless Service. So, we have been doing our part to serve T&T. This is after all, what patriotism is. While waving a flag to support a sports team is often seen as patriotism, it is really in these activities - in bringing people together to help others and help the country that I really see patriotism in action," he added.
Persons can visit sewatt.org for bookings for Pfizer vaccines and requirements. These are only available for persons between 12 and 18 years, accompanied by a parent or guardian. Sinopharm vaccines continue to be available at the site as well.