Assemblyman suggests turning rural health clinics into Covid-19 vaccination centres

Dennis (third right) and Anyi (second left) join others in a group photo at the hall of SJKC Kee Teein Long Lama, which serves as the vaccination centre for the district.

MIRI (May 9): The state government should look into turning all rural health clinics into Covid-19 vaccination centres, serving those living in the state’s remote pockets, said Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau.

According to him, in the Telang Usan District alone, there is one health clinic each for Long Bedian, Long Bemang, Long Kevok, Long San, Long Loyang, Long Naah, Long Miri, Long Pilah and Long Lama.

“I call upon the state government to look into this need to help our communities who live far inland, who face challenges in transportation, cost and even time.

“No doubt that this move may incur some extra expenses, but I appeal to the government to plan this out so that the Covid-19 vaccination programme could be run in the rural clinics,” he said when met after visiting the vaccination centre at the hall of SJKC Kee Tee in Long Lama yesterday, a total of 282 residents of Telang Usan received their first dose of the vaccine.

Dennis said the vaccination drive was the result of months of preparations involving many parties including the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), Miri Health Office, Telang Usan District Office and Long Lama Health Clinic.

“I have come down to the vaccination centre with Baram MP Anyi Ngau, and we’re very grateful to see the result of the hard work rendered by these relevant agencies.

“What I see today at the vaccination centre are the happy faces of those who are very eager to receive their first vaccine. Some of them have come very early, and from as far as Daleh Long Pelutan,” said the assemblyman, noticing that some of the vaccine recipients are senior citizens aged over 80 – with a few reaching 90.

“When I spoke to them, they’re very thankful to the government for providing them protection against Covid-19.

“Those from longhouses far in the interiorshave come here with an open heart to receive the vaccine, spending their own money for transportation, food and other needs.

“I feel very touched by this.

“Thus, I hope that this could become a prime example to those who have yet to register, an also those up for vaccination in the next phase.”

According to Dennis, those who received their first doseyesterday would get their second dose this May 29.

It is estimated that 280 people of Telang Usan would be receiving their first jab this May 22.

Dennis said more than 3,000 people from thedistrict had registered for the vaccination programme.

On a related note, the assemblyman added: “I am happy to see that Telang Usan has recorded very few cases, with the last one being reported several weeks ago.

“Therefore, we must continue to do our best in preventing the virus from returning to our district. At this juncture, I want to remind the people of Telang Usan, wherever they may be, to continue observing the highest level of SOP (standard operating procedures) set by the authorities.”

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