Mumbai: To accelerate nationwide efforts in combating the humanitarian crisis unleashed by the second wave of the pandemic, The Coca-Cola Foundation has provided funding to United Way Mumbai to support its efforts to spread awareness, facilitate community participation in vaccination, and provide safety kits in 25 districts across 10 states of India. As the vaccination drive across the country and the world progresses, this project helps to #StopTheSpread by encouraging and sensitizing over 4 million people in 4400+ communities and villages. Additionally, it also aims to strengthen close to 440 vaccination centers in rural and urban India, supporting the Government of India’s mission of vaccination for all. This initiative is a part of The Coca-Cola Foundation’s “Stop the Spread” worldwide fund that is being channelized towards facilitating vaccine distribution, COVID safety kits (PPE – masks, gloves, sanitizers), and creating awareness around vaccination and sanitary practices to contain the spread of the pandemic.
The initial phase of the #StopTheSpread project is being rolled out across the states, namely Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Delhi, and Haryana. To support the ongoing vaccination drive, United Way of Mumbai is mobilizing civilians in the remotest areas of the country for vaccination through mass awareness programs, one-on-one health inquiries, transportation to vaccination camps for rural communities, and augmenting safety support at the camps through the provision of PPE kits to ensure safe and hygienic inoculations. Additionally, it is also helping communities connect with existing government authorized vaccination centers, facilitating registration and strengthening existing government vaccination centers with safety equipment.
In Mumbai, The Coca-Cola Foundation and United Way Mumbai commenced the awareness drive through a small event where dignitaries from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) along with representatives from the Company’s Bottling Operations in Maharashtra, Medical Officers of Health, Ward Officers and Senior Engineers were present at the Handover Ceremony at Dosti Acres Mahanagar Palika Municipal School and Bunter Bhavan Hall in Mumbai. As a part of this initiative, 20 vaccination centers in L and F-North Wards of Mumbai were equipped with protective gear, sanitation materials, and other essential equipment such as fire extinguishers required for the safety and smooth operations of the center.
Similar interventions across other districts including Pune, Thane, and Nagpur are being initiated with an aim to positively impact 10 Lakh+ people through 80 upgraded vaccination centers across 800 villages/communities in rural and urban regions, successfully administering vaccines to approx. 1.8 Lakh civilians. This also includes spreading mass awareness to 9 Lakh+, one-on-one health inquiries for 2 Lakh people, and transportation assistance for 7200 members from rural communities across the state.
Commenting on the initiative and the need for each one of us to step forward, Saadia Madsbjerg, President of TCCF, said, “We are proud to use our resources to fund initiatives to help curb the spread of COVID-19 around the world, including this grant to support the important work of the United Way Mumbai in India. We are hopeful that with collective effort and resilience by all, we will be able to steer ourselves out of these difficult times.”
Adding further, George Aikara, Chief Executive Officer, United Way Mumbai, said “In order to support the nation in combating this unprecedented health crisis, it is imperative to create awareness, bust myths around vaccination, and strengthen infection prevention role practices, especially at vaccination camps. Lack of awareness and consultation around vaccination is one of the reasons for lower vaccination turnout, especially in rural areas. This financial support from The Coca-Cola Foundation helps us identify, plan and support interventions and encourage more people to get vaccinated and contain further spread.”