Mohammad Taher is a Rohingya Community Immunization Volunteer supported by Community Partners International (CPI) and Green Hill in the world's largest refugee camp in Bangladesh. Each day, he visits households in his neighborhood to help pregnant and women and young children get vaccinated against deadly diseases.
Through his regular visits to households in Kutupalong Refugee Camp, Mohammad Taher gradually builds trust and families' confidence in vaccines. "Often, people here don't understand about vaccines and are wary of them," he explains. "My role is to raise awareness about vaccination, accompany people to the vaccination center and help them complete the vaccination process."
"For cultural reasons, pregnant women sometimes feel shy to go to a health facility," he adds. "Through me, they understand the importance of vaccination and they feel more confident to go there."
Recently, he supported new mother Somira to vaccinate her baby son. "I'm very happy that my child got vaccinated today," Somira confirms. "I'm really grateful to Taher. He brings me to the vaccination center and makes sure my child is vaccinated."
The crucial role of Rohingya Community Immunization Volunteers in supporting vaccine adherence in the refugee camps is underlined by Pubali Rani Shill, a vaccinator at a camp-based health facility. "With support from CPI and Green Hill, we have a strong connection with the Rohingya Community Immunization Volunteers," she explains. "This is helping us reduce the numbers of dropouts and reach our vaccination targets."
Mohammad Taher underlines the effectiveness of Community Immunization Volunteers. "Our success rate on this project is nearly 100%, so this approach is very effective." Based on this success, he is confident that Rohingya Community Immunization Volunteers can effectively support the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Kutupalong Refugee Camp as needed. "I think my volunteer colleagues and I can really help with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout when it comes here."