Vaccine team reaches out to ethnic communities


Saba Afzal from the Ministry for Ethnic Communities (back), with vaccine rollout team members Te Rangimarie Rangi and Naomi Patterson.


4 August 2021


Joining the more than 400 people enjoying the costumes and colour of the Multicultural Festival in Whanganui on 31 July was a Whanganui District Health Board team promoting the COVID-19 vaccine programme.


“It was a great night and a great opportunity to provide vaccine information to people who might otherwise have been harder to reach,” said a DHB spokesman.


The DHB had a stand at the festival at Whanganui racecourse’s Eulogy Lounge, with information brochures in a variety of languages and two administrators who were making vaccination bookings.


“The pleasing thing was that many of the people we spoke to had already had their vaccination or had already booked.”


Also attending the event, which offered numerous ethnic food stalls and array of traditional music and dance, was Saba Afzal from the Ministry for Ethnic Communities.


A diversity and engagement advisor for the Whanganui and Taranaki regions, Ms Afzal was particularly keen to catch up with the DHB staff promoting the rollout.


“It is very important that we find ways to get the vaccine message out to the different ethnic groups, and this festival is a great opportunity with so many communities represented here,” she said.


The event was organised by the Multicultural Council of Rangitikei/Whanganui, and its president Pushpa Prasad said she was delighted to have the vaccination rollout team on board.