BRAZIL: Students help administer COVID-19 vaccinations
160 Salesian University students take part in a COVID-19 vaccination program
(MissionNewswire) Students in the medical program at the Salesian University, known as UniSalesiano, participated in the Secretariat of Health of Araçatuba’s COVID-19 vaccination program in Brazil. The 160 participating students took a course in vaccinations and had hands-on supervision while administering the vaccinations.
Secretary of Health Carmen Guariente noted that the collaboration between the municipality and UniSalesiano was important. It offered students direct experience through orientation, access to operating procedures and the application of doses. The initiative also helped local health workers meet the local needs and demands for vaccination.
“This vaccination initiative provided support to the local health community and provided Salesian students an opportunity to work hands-on in the medical field,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “These kinds of initiatives are important for students who are learning and provide a good way for Salesian students to apply the skills they have learned while giving back to the community.”
In August 2020, UniSalesiano launched a similar initiative providing hepatitis C testing for adults. It also transformed a municipal emergency room into a specialized clinic. The Rotary Club of Araçatuba, which started a hepatitis C awareness campaign, provided 400 testing kits to UniSalesiano. Professor Rossana Abud Cabrera Rosa stressed the project’s importance and invited the population to participate. Identifying the disease is not easy as it only shows symptoms in an advanced stage.
At the time Cabrera Rosa stated, “This is an annual campaign, sponsored by the Rotary Club, to eradicate hepatitis C around the world. This type of action is very important for our academics because students learn to do the test, to read the result and to be in contact with the public. They also learned the operational procedures for the prevention of COVID-19.”
In Brazil, there are still large gaps between the poor and the rich, and issues of income inequality and social exclusion remain at the root of poverty. Just over 15 percent of Brazilians live in poverty, with the majority living in the rural northeast of the country, according to the World Bank.
Inequalities also exist in access to education and educational efficiency. These inequalities are greatest for children and youth who are poor, live in rural areas or who have an incomplete compulsory education. Salesian missionaries working with poor youth and their families in Brazil develop programs and provide youth opportunities for furthering their education and skills.
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Salesian Missions – Brazil
World Bank – Brazil