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Vaccination in an Indian Border District: Against All Odds

Treacherous terrain, poor connectivity, and low population density makes the vaccination drive in Arunachal Pradesh’s Dibang Valley extremely challenging.

Vaccination in an Indian Border District: Against All Odds

Local residents undergoing temperature checks at the district headquarters Anini in Dibang Valley, ahead of the vaccination program

Credit: Special Arrangement
Vaccination in an Indian Border District: Against All Odds

An elderly man being vaccinated at the district headquarters Anini in Dibang Valley.

Credit: Special Arrangement
Vaccination in an Indian Border District: Against All Odds

A group of government officials cross a hanging bridge en route a village near the India-China border.

Credit: Special Arrangement
Vaccination in an Indian Border District: Against All Odds

Government officials gather nose swabs from residents at a border village.

Credit: Special Arrangement
Vaccination in an Indian Border District: Against All Odds

Government officials carry oxygen cylinders to a center being established at Mathu Valley in Dibang Valley.

Credit: Special Arrangement
Vaccination in an Indian Border District: Against All Odds

Vaccination of residents near the district headquarters of Anini in Dibang Valley.

Credit: Special Arrangement
Vaccination in an Indian Border District: Against All Odds

A camp being organized for registration of the vaccination program at Mathu Valley in Dibang Valley.

Credit: Special Arrangement
Vaccination in an Indian Border District: Against All Odds

A medical team led by mountaineer Tine Mena at Anili in Dibang Valley.

Credit: Tine Mena
Vaccination in an Indian Border District: Against All Odds

Preparation for the vaccination drive at Hunli in Dibang Valley.

Credit: Tine Mena
, which means that government officials have to trek over vast distances to reach a few people to vaccinate. In this hilly region, villages are poorly connected. There are no roads to villages in this remote region.

A Health worker en route to a border village in Dibang Valley for vaccination (Credit – Special Arrangement)

According to Deputy Commissioner of the district, , was quoted by the media as saying that medical teams were sent to some border villages as the elderly people in these villages were unable to reach the vaccination centers set up by the government.

The district administration enlisted the of village councils and interpreters to cover as many villages as possible for the vaccination drive.  Some individuals also chipped in to offer assistance for supplying medicines to the inaccessible habitats.  , a well-known mountaineer who had scaled Mount Everest, organized several missions to the border villages for distribution of medicines and essential equipment.

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In May, a nine-day was enforced in as many as six districts of Arunachal Pradesh, including Dibang Valley amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. Through mid-September, the hilly state had logged cases with 271 people succumbing so far to the disease. While the region around the capital complex of Itanagar recorded the highest number of cases in the state,  registered 317 cases and two fatalities.