Kashmir Indepth

Dr. Rabia plays a skipper’s role in beating second Covid surge in Banihal

RAMBAN, JULY 08( KINS ): Availing the chance to serve people in her native place, reciprocate, the love and care of people of Banihal where she grew up, BMO, Banihal, Dr. Rabia Khan, led from the front and played a skipper’s role in saving the lives of the people amid the ragging second surge of Covid -19.

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Her relentless and untiring efforts in containing Covid pandemic in Banihal can be gauged by the fact that almost 100% age appropriate population in 45 year and above age group, barring some migratory population and bed-ridden persons, have been vaccinated in the Medical block. The medical block is also leading in the vaccination of the younger category with 10,600 persons having been vaccinated in the 18-44 age bar.

“When I assumed office as BMO Banihal in December, 2020, the Covid situation was very grim and I was worried about the lives of people including my kith and kin here. I was determined to save their lives even at the cost of my life. My husband also motivated me a lot and told me to go village to village and door to door as poor daily wagers and village women, especially old and ailing, will find it difficult to visit hospitals to get samples for Covid,” said Dr. Rabia.

“So, feeling emboldened and supported by my family I started going to even the remotest hamlets perched on the peaks of Peer Panjal range along with my staff. We had to trek long distances, motivate the villagers for sampling and for vaccination,” she added.

During her previous posting also at Gandhi Nagar Hospital, Jammu she was assigned the Covid sampling duty from March 2020 wherefrom she continued her mission in Banihal also.

Mother of an only minor son and having other domestic responsibilities, she leaves her home early only to return late evening irrespective of Sunday or any festival holiday feeling satisfied with her mission at the end of the day.

Daughter of a Forest Range Officer, Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Khan in Banihal and a graduate of Government Medical College, Jammu in 1997, Dr  Rabia has been regularly holding awareness camps in remote areas including  Mohu Mangit, Khari, Chacchal, Chaknarwa, Hinjal, Handisha, Zaban, and Shabanbaas  to aware people about Dos’ and Don’ts to protect themselves  from Covid, besides educating them on the importance of vaccination.

According to Dr Rabia, motivating nomads including Gujjars and Bakerwals for vaccination during camps at Zaban and Tatnihal was the toughest job which gave me immense satisfaction.

“In few villages some reluctant villagers even closed their doors, let loose their pets and animals on my team to scare us away, we hid ourselves in bushes, but by the grace of Allah at last my relentless efforts paid in and I managed to motivate them” said the Doctor in a confident tone.

She added “We launched an awareness drive to dispel the doubts of people about vaccination by taking the help of the media, using social media platforms. We explained and educated the people about the advantages of vaccination, testing and implementation of Covid protocols which worked well.”

Appreciating the cooperation and coordination of her staff, civil and police administration, she said that her resolve to achieve her mission kept on getting stronger and she never felt the paucity of resources and the required material.

“I have to do all this Covid duty besides facing the challenge of being placed in one of the toughest areas of Ramban district which is a highly accident prone area and the Sub-Divisional Hospital here is a central hospital where cases from remote areas keep on coming regularly in large numbers,” she said.

“I got so engrossed in the anti-Covid campaign that I couldn’t avail a leave for a day to bring my clothes and other luggage from Jammu where I was settled for the past many years. My Mother who is a patient of a serious renal ailment longs to meet me for days together. And though for me Sunday, Monday and Eid become the same yet my spirit and resolve is unflinching,” she said with a beaming countenance. ( KINS )

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