Friday Jun 2, 2023
Friday Jun 2, 2023

Chepang refuses to be vaccinated against corona

2022 Jan 13, 10:09,
This photo shows the home of Chepang in Makawanpur district taken on 1 April 2012. Photo courtesy: Krish Dulal

Even when the third wave of corona started, the Chepang community, a minority community, refused to be vaccinated. It has been found that the Chepang community living in the district is not interested in vaccination. The Chepang community resides in six of the seven municipalities in the district.

Chepang resides in Icchakamana village municipality and Kalika, Rapti, Khairhani, Madi municipality, and Bharatpur metropolis of the district. According to the census of 2068 BS, 28 thousand 989 Chepangs live in these municipalities. Of them, 6,327 or 21.82 percent Chepangs have been vaccinated against corona so far. Of the seven municipalities in the district, 2,700 Chepangs have been vaccinated in Rapti.

According to Suresh Neupane, health chief of Rapti municipality, the Chepang community has a majority in wards 10, 11, 12, and 13. Ninety percent of the Chepang community live in those wards and only 8,000 people above 18 years of age need to be vaccinated. He said that the number of people getting vaccinated may have decreased due to the practice of marrying at an early age in the Chepang community. "It depends on the outcome of the vaccination of children under the age of 18," he said. He also added, "It is customary in this community to get married at an early age. Let's see what kind of participation there is in vaccinating people under 18 years of age."

Three thousand 89 Chepang communities have been vaccinated in Kalika Municipality. The Chepang community resides in wards 9, 10, and 11 of this municipality. Chief of the health branch of the municipality, Deepak Bhandari, said that they have not even been able to reach the hilly areas and the centers far away from the vaccination centers. According to Bhandari, the Chepang community at the local level has been talking about why vaccination is needed. He said, "People living in hilly areas have been refusing to get vaccinated saying they have nowhere to go."

Similarly, the Chepang community lives in all the wards of the Icchakamana village municipality especially in wards 1, 2 and 6 . Two thousand 350 people from those areas have been vaccinated against corona. Health branch chief Basudev Sapkota informed that more than 18,000 people have been vaccinated in the municipality. According to Sapkota, the number will increase with age. The number has decreased due to the remote settlement of the Chepang community and the lack of access to the vaccination center from that area. 

Similarly, 350 people have been vaccinated against corona in Khairhani municipality. According to Anup Adhikari, chief of the health department of the municipality, 85 percent of the people in the municipality have been vaccinated. He informed that only a small number of the residents of this community live in this municipality.

Of the people living in Ward No. 29 of Bharatpur Metropolitan City, 174 have been vaccinated against corona. The Chepang community living in Ratomate, Chipleti, and Kipat areas of the ward could not participate in the vaccination, according to the health department of the metropolis. According to Division Chief Deepak Subedi, the number of Chepangs in the metropolitan area is not large. It is a hilly area of ​​Ward No. 29 where they live.

In Madi Municipality Ward No. 8 and 9, according to Bhoj Raj Khanal, chief of the health department of the municipality, 130 people from the Chepang community have been vaccinated. Due to lack of information or neglect in this scattered community, the number of people coming for vaccination has decreased. He said, "Most of the people living in Chepang are in the Bandar Jhula area and they may have been deprived of this vaccine due to difficulties in coming and going."

Former Central Chairman of the Chepang Association, Govinda Chepang, says that the participation of this community in covid vaccination is low. "Only a few people have been vaccinated because of the false propaganda about Covid,". There was a fear of reproductive problems in Chepang after the corona vaccination. He said that it was important to spread the message written in the Chepang language for the corona vaccine. According to the 2068 BS census, there are 68,399 Chepangs living in Nepal. Especially, Chepangs have been living in Chitwan, Makwanpur, Dhading, Gorkha, Lamjung, Tanahun and other districts.

Chairman of the Chepang Association Chitwan Bhim Bahadur Chepang said that they do not come for vaccination as they live in remote areas. Stating that only those living in the vicinity of the vaccination center have been vaccinated, he said that the stakeholders have been urged to make the communication about the corona vaccine effective.

Chief of the Health Office, Chitwan, Deepak Tiwari said that there was a problem in the Chepang community due to various negative rumors about Corona. He estimates that the number may have decreased as the community is not in direct contact with the market life. He said that the local municipality needs to focus on publicity as the health office only manages the vaccines. Tiwari added, "Vaccination has been managed in every ward through health facilities. It is the weakness of the community not to come to the center."

According to the office, 370,544 people have been vaccinated in the district so far. According to the health office, out of the first dose, 320,000 have been fully vaccinated. According to Tiwari, Covishield 40,443, Vero cell 237,602, AstraZeneca 51,962, Pfizer Biontech 1,867, and Johnson 38,670 have applied the first dose.

Similarly, full dose of Covisilde / AstraZeneca 82 thousand 853, Verosel one lakh 96 thousand 729, Johnson 38 thousand 670 Jale and Pfizer Bioentech one thousand 757 have been vaccinated. The number of those who have applied the first dose but have not had time to apply the second dose is around 20,000. 


Chepang vaccination Chepang Community Minority community
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