Approximately 15 million people, about 80% of the country’s population, should be vaccinated for COVID-19 by the end of the first semester of the present year, according to estimates given by the Ministry of Health.
To help arrive at that goal, Desafío Levantemos Chile and Empresas CMPC have provided their two mobile field clinics in the Region of Araucania and Biobio; the two fully equipped facilities have been put at the disposal of regional government to reach those places too far from central locations, transporting health professionals to the people that need them and aid in inoculating as many people as possible in the least possible time.
The executive director of Desafío Levantemos Chile, Mr. Nicolas Burrel, stated “today we have a new challenge before us: to support Health Services in the vaccine process, especially in rural areas where under normal circumstances, it is very difficult to reach. This is why, in conjunction with CMPC, we have provided two additional mobile clinics which, once again, will aid us in becoming a real asset and contributor in this second phase of the pandemic”.
The Assistant Manager of Public Affairs at CMPC, Mr. Ignacio Lira, seconded the previous statement saying “it is through these clinics that we can vaccinate people with underlying pre-existing health conditions living, primarily, in rural areas”.
He also added “our conviction and ideal of living with those around us and sharing what we have, led us to start a series of initiatives intended to face off with the virus. In Chile we donated over 3 million face masks, hygiene kits, we lent our support to sanitation efforts in cities, we fielded mobile testing clinics with PCR tests and distributed medicine, and we also created the program Arriba Todos Juntos to back local entrepreneurs”.
Now, having already started the vaccination campaign for the elderly, frontline health workers and other essential jobs and occupations, this week the campaign reaches out to teachers and other education personnel, who will receive their first doses.
It is with precisely this group that the mobile clinics officially began their deployment, celebrated in an official ceremony in the municipal stadium of Lumaco. The fully equipped mobile facilities are also connected to the internet to update the system with those recently vaccinated, and ensure immunization records and traceability are consistently fed with the latest information. The latter will allow authorities to access official records and add said information to the national report on the number of inoculated Chilean nationals.
The Mayor of Lumaco, Mr. Javier Painequeo Paillali, indicated “our municipality is one of the largest in the region of Araucania, a truly immense territory, making the clinic a facilitator in moving our healthcare professionals to those far away locations and arriving at where our elderly are located. It is with this in mind that I thank CMPC and Desafío Levantemos Chile for their support”.
On this occasion the mobile clinics will support the home vaccination drive for a three-month period, continuing until the 15th of May, applying two doses in accordance with the vaccination plan. Sufficient immunity is conferred after the second dosis.
In truth, the region of Biobio began the vaccine drive last Monday, starting the tour of the mobile clinic in the municipality of Laja, and later moving on to Huepil, Nacimiento, Yumbel and Mulchen among others.
The Director of the Healthcare Service in Northern Araucania, Mr. Ernesto Yañez, thanked the two companies; “Desafio Levantemos Chile and CMPC have provided us with free collaboration and cooperation, providing us with this vehicle and a driver to reach out to the more distant municipalities and the harder to reach areas in Lumaco”.
He added “in the province of Malleco we have already vaccinated close to 29,000 people. The mobile clinic will now move on to another eight municipalities in the province, stay for approximately two weeks in each municipality, and in the course of their service, send out first responders with all the necessary materials and vaccines to rural areas”.
Last year, during the pandemic, the mobile clinic model provided and implemented by Desafio Levantemos Chile and CMPC helped carry out almost 8 thousand medical consultations, took over 5 thousand PCR samples for testing in a five-month window while executing the operation in the regions of Biobio, La Araucania, and the municipality of Puente Alto in the Metropolitan Region.
It was a task of titanic proportions, having covered over 34 thousand kilometers of terrain over five months. To provide perspective, the distance between Chile and the US is a total of 15,788.66Km.
Equipment and the comfort of receiving healthcare at the home made the initiative that much safer for both healthcare professionals and the patients, especially in the more vulnerable and isolated municipalities.
Today the mobile field clinics take on a new challenge, and work to help reach the national goal in the vaccine drive for COVID-19.