Episode #69: The Experience of an Ambassador for the Vaccination Engagement Team
Since Qasim Khan took the responsibility of working as a vaccination ambassador for FCJ Refugee Centre, more than a year now, there has been lots of changes in the sector of health, especially regarding COVID and its protocols. He has been the witness of all these changes since the beginning, and shares his experience.
Welcome to a brand new episode of the Borderless Voices podcast, presented by the FCJ Refugee Centre.
Hi, my name is Qasim Khan and I’ve been working as a vaccination ambassador for FCJ Refugee Centre for more than a year now.
Since I have taken this responsibility there has been lots of changes happening in the sector of health, especially regarding COVID and its protocols. I have been the witness of these changes since the beginning.
It was a turmoil overall when I started working as a COVID ambassador. That was a relatively very difficult times. People were really scared about the disease and lots of panic was seen among people of all ages.
Apart from that the vaccination was relatively new and people had immense fear of using it, which is still the case, but the intensity is very low.
To convince people to get vaccinated was very challenging at the beginning. The misinformation and lack of knowledge was so much that every second person, especially the immigrants and refugees, was afraid of getting vaccination.
But things have been relatively smooth this year, especially for the last six months.
Things are shaping up. People are open to get vaccinated and it is not as challenging as it used to be in the early days,
I have targeted areas in the city of Toronto where I feel people are still not fully vaccinated or hesitant somehow, especially the newcomers and refugees.
For the last six months, my focus has been newcomers Africans, Arabs and South Asians, as I know multiple South Asian languages and, as a muslim, I know where I can find the vulnerable.
So I outreach to different mosques where I can find the new refugees and immigrants, as it’s easy to spot them there with the help of administration of the mosque.
South Asians like Pakistanis and Indians are mostly in the Thorncliffe area and East York, where they have community centers. So that makes easy for me to work on that area, apart from that Toronto community housings and the food shelters of the other areas where I try to access and educate people.
I have been active to outreach people and educate them about the vaccination, and through giving them the directions of their nearby clinics, hospitals and any other health facility, and help them to get registered in the facilities because of their language barrier.
Thanks to the updated information which is always given to me by FCJ Refugee Centre, which has all the information and protocols about not only COVID but also other diseases which are also very important for people to know, like monkey pox and respiratory virus.
I’m also involved in making podcasts in French and Urdu languages, frequently, for the Refugee Centre to educate people on the latest updates from Health Toronto on COVID-19 vaccination.
Thank you so much.
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