THE Davao City government’s information drive on the benefits of the anti-Covid vaccine has paid off as a high number of residents from the remote Indigenous Peoples (IP) community in Marilog District agreed to be inoculated on Friday, November 19, 2021.

Around 384 members of the IP community in Barangay Magsaysay, one of the remote areas of Marilog District, received on Friday, November 19, 2021, the anti-Covid vaccine days after the consultative meeting conducted in the area to disseminate more information on the vaccination.

Public Safety and Security Command Cluster (PSSCC) Head Angel Sumagaysay in an interview with Byaheng DO30 said that the successful inoculation was through the cooperation of the purok leaders and the religious leaders of the IP communities.

“Pirting layua ning mga lugar nila and dili makaabot sa ilaha properly ang information dissemination ng atong siyudad. Pinaagi sa atong purok leaders, religious leaders, and tribal leaders napasabot nato ug husto and nakita nato karon nga maayo ang turnout (Their area is very far and our city’s information dissemination on the vaccination does not properly reach them. Through our purok leaders and the informed religious leaders, we were able to explain to them well and we can now see a good turnout),” Sumagaysay said.

Recall that it is the city government’s strategy to conduct the consultation and information drive on the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines with doctors as resource speakers to expand the vaccination coverage of the city especially in far-flung areas.

Through that, the vaccination drive for the members Ovu Manuvu, Giangan, Matigsalug, and Tagabawa tribes was made possible.

Seventy-nine years old Matarin Lipantao, one of the members of the Matigsalug tribe who received the anti-Covid vaccine, said it is important to be vaccinated to have another layer of protection against the coronavirus disease.

“Gusto gyud ko aron dili ta matakdan sa Covid-19, mao gyud na akoang pamilya, nagpavaccine gyud mi kay gusto namo makatabang sa gobyerno (I really wanted to be vaccinated to ensure that I won’t have Covid-19, it is the reason also
why my whole family also got vaccinated because we want to help the government),” she said.

She also advised those who are still hesitant to be vaccinated to believe in the effectiveness of the vaccines and avoid believing in those who provide wrong information.

“Unya ingon ang uban nga mahadlok daw sila, pero dili man gyud ta mahadlok, kinahanglan gyud ug pagtuo ug pagsalig sa mag inject sa atoa, naa bay tao nga mag-inject og makamatay (Some say they are afraid but they should not be afraid. We really need to have faith and believe to those who administer these jabs because they won’t inject it if it can cause death),” she added.

Apart from the cooperation of the tribal and religious leaders and their members, the successful vaccination rollout was also attributed to the cooperation of the City Health Office, PSSCC, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) XI, and Office of Third District Councilor Alberto Ungab.

“Wala gyud mi nag-expect nga ingon ani kadaghan ang among ma-cater, kay among gi-expect namo is 200 lang but so far na exceed namo ni siya nga expectation, thankful pud mi sa support sa agencies nga nitabang gyod (We did not expect to cater these number, we only expected 200, but so far we exceeded that expectation, we are thankful to all the support agencies which helped us),” said Dr. Jethro Biolanco, the Marilog District Health Physician.

The city government is expected to roll out more consultative meetings in far-flung areas and arm people with sufficient and truthful information and drive away vaccine hesitancy, which is key for the city to achieve 1.2 million herd immunity by the end of the year. CIO