Sumitra*, 34, was excited to finally be eligible for her COVID-19 vaccination.
Nepal’s Government recently rolled out the COVID-19 vaccination plan for people with disability. Sumitra, who has arthritis and is a wheelchair user, was happy to be eligible. However, there was still one big hurdle – how would she get to the vaccination centre?
In Nepal, people with disability still face unique and frequent barriers to accessing suitable transportation.
Sumitra explains, “I was excited about getting the shot after the long wait, however, I also worried about how was I supposed to get there to the vaccination centre. For wheelchair users like me, we face significant hurdles in travelling, and it is always painful getting on public transportation and other vehicles which are not disability-friendly.”
Sumitra’s concern was lifted when she discovered she could be provided with transportation from her home to the vaccination centre in a vehicle with a hydraulic wheelchair lift.
In collaboration with Independent Living Centre, Pokhara, Green Pastures Hospital has been providing transportation to people like Sumitra from their homes to the vaccination centre.
Sumitra was happy about the opportunity to be transported to the vaccination centre. “When the vehicle arrived and I was lifted along with my wheelchair by the lift machine, my relief knew no bounds! It was completely a new experience for me as I had never seen that before,” she shared. “It was easy, and I was comfortably placed inside the vehicle with my wheelchair. I am so thankful to INF Green Pastures Hospital for their thoughtfulness and service in this crucial hour. I am certain that many wheelchair users like me will benefit from this vehicle service.”
As Nepal and the rest of the world grapples with the impacts of COVID-19, it is vital INF and other organisations continue to work together and prioritise providing support and care for the most vulnerable, delivering vital support and providing direct relief to people with disability and their families.
*Name has been changed to protect Sumitra’s privacy.