Delivering life-saving vaccines to everyone, even PWDs | Healthcare Asia Magazine

Delivering life-saving vaccines to everyone, even PWDs

Ara Damansara Medical Centre wins at the 2023 Asian Healthcare Awards.

COVID-19 exposed many gaps in the healthcare industry, as many were caught by surprise regarding its intensity and magnitude. The most vulnerable sections of society were the immuno-compromised, the elderly, persons with disabilities (PWDs), and children, needing much higher priority and urgent delivery for vaccines.

Ara Damansara Medical Centre (ADMC) became the first healthcare provider in Malaysia to offer drive-through vaccinations specifically for PWDs in June 2021. ADMC collaborated with Protecthealth Corporation, OKU Sentral, Yayasan Sime Darby and Sime Darby Plantation and managed to vaccinate 13,500 PWD and their carers against COVID-19 in the Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

This effort earned the ADMC the Vaccination Delivery of the Year - Malaysia Award in this year’s Asian Healthcare Awards. 

The awards programme applauds the innovations and ground-breaking approaches and methods that healthcare organisations have undertaken to ensure quality care and service to their patients, and ADMC exalted itself from its competition by dedicating resources to serve the needs of one of the most vulnerable groups of people during the pandemic.

ADMC’s drive-through vaccination facilities were developed to provide PWDs with an easy and comfortable experience in getting their COVID-19 vaccination within the targeted timeline. This came in as a huge boost of help when virus variants started emerging and spreading.

Communities and government agencies preferred working with ADMC, as the partnership between the government and non-government organisations working around the clock to set up the various stations helped facilitate a smooth and pleasant encounter for PWDs before, during, and after receiving their vaccination.

Different disabilities pose unique requirements in terms of vaccine delivery, so ADMC had to redesign the vaccination flow and refurbish facilities in the area to ensure patient safety during the whole process. From this understanding of the situation, the organisation added facilities such as a special canopy with a zen ambience, music and suitable toys for autistic or anxious vaccinees, portable disabled-friendly toilets, and a medical tent with healthcare personnel to tend to medical emergencies as well as volunteers familiar with sign language.

On September 2022, Protecthealth Corporation and the Malaysian Ministry of Health recognised ADMC’s contribution to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Achieving high vaccination rates for the targeted demographic, ADMC’s working partnership with agencies such as the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Selangor Health Department, and OKU Sentral has yielded a successful initiative that helped the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme.

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