SAF Assists Home Vaccination Efforts

Actions
https://www.mindef.gov.sg/web/wcm/connect/pioneer/603bf97c-83e8-4250-87d7-0a239ef56055/15sep21_news1_photo1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-603bf97c-83e8-4250-87d7-0a239ef56055-nLIlX2x /web/wcm/connect/pioneer/603bf97c-83e8-4250-87d7-0a239ef56055/15sep21_news1_photo1.jpg?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE.Z18_1QK41482LG0G10Q8NM8IUA1051-603bf97c-83e8-4250-87d7-0a239ef56055-nLIlX2x /web/portal/pioneer/article/regular-article-detail/ops-and-training/ops-and-training/2021-Q3/15sep21_news1
/web/portal/pioneer/article/regular-article-detail/ops-and-training/2021-Q3/15sep21_news1
15sep21_news1
15 Sep 2021 | OPS & TRAINING

SAF Assists Home Vaccination Efforts

// Story by Gabriel Lee

// Photos by Chai Sian Liang

Two NSmen medics preparing to administer the vaccine.

Medics from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) have been putting their medical training to good use by assisting with home vaccination efforts targeted at the elderly and homebound individuals.

Home Vaccination Teams (HVTs) from 3rd Combat Support Hospital (3 CSH) – comprising Operationally Ready National Serviceman (NSman) medics, medical officers and support personnel – have been supporting the Ministry of Health's home vaccination efforts as part of their In-Camp Training (ICT) cycle.

MAJ (NS) Marican, CO (designate) of 3 CSH is proud to lead his battalion in their HVT efforts.

Leading his battalion in the HVT operations is Major (MAJ) (NS) (Dr) Mohd Mizan Marican, Commanding Officer (designate) of 3 CSH. "The men of 3 CSH are excited to be part of this home vaccination drive as part of their ICT. This is a meaningful contribution by 3 CSH and we are helping to increase our national vaccination levels," said MAJ (NS) (Dr) Marican, who is an orthopaedic surgeon.

This is not the first time he is contributing to the fight against COVID-19. He was deployed to migrant worker dormitories to support testing efforts in 2020.

"This year, I took this HVT drive in my stride and regarded it as part of my National Service journey. As a medical battalion, it is only right that we step up to help."

To minimise wastage of vaccines, a call centre and an operations hub have been set up to coordinate the operations. The call centre makes sure that patients are aware of upcoming HVT visits, while the operations hub serves as the nerve centre and is in constant contact with the 20 roving HVTs.

The operations hub also keeps track of any adverse reactions after vaccination and the number of households which have been visited by the HVTs.

Realistic training conducted

Before the HVTs were deployed, the NSmen attended refresher training sessions designed to help them effectively administer the vaccines in a domestic setting.

Corporal (CPL) (NS) Chia Shengyou Edwin, who serves as a medic, said that the training was easy to follow. "Mistakes were promptly corrected, and the trainer gave practical tips from his experience."

CPL (NS) Chia, who is a lawyer by profession, also said the training gave him the confidence to administer the vaccines. He added: "It is heartening to know that I am able to contribute in my own way as part of the SAF to the national effort to vaccinate as many seniors as possible.

"Hopefully, with wider vaccination, we will be able to open up further, and thereafter live in the new normal."

Overcoming challenges as a team

One of the biggest challenges faced by the HVTs was the language barrier.

CPT (NS) (Dr) Shane Alexander Abucewicz Tan Yuan-Yu, a Medical Officer, only speaks English and Mandarin, and had some initial difficulty conversing with Malay-speaking residents.

Fortunately, he had a Malay speaker on his team, who helped to translate. Each HVT comprises a Medical Officer, a Medic and a Health Assistant to assist with the vaccination.

He added: "I was also aware that we were entering someone's house for the first time. We had to pay special attention to that, and be polite."

CPT (NS) Tan using hand gestures to communicate with an elderly resident.

Like MAJ (NS) (Dr) Marican, this is not his first time contributing to COVID-19 efforts. He volunteered at the Community Care Facility at the Singapore Expo for six months in 2020.

"I looked after COVID-19 patients at Expo last year, and now I'm trying to close the loop with this home vaccination exercise," he said.

Suggested Reading
Kids Try: Combat Medic
Cover story
Kids Try: Combat Medic
PEOPLE
08-Oct-21

Do sisters Puteri Nur Qalesya, 9, and Puteri Nur Qaifa, 8, have what it takes to be little combat medics? In PIONEER's Children's Day special, they visit the SAF Medical Training Institute, where many soldiers like their father, Major Muhammad Redza, go to learn basic life-saving skills.

Training soldiers, touching lives Feature
Training soldiers, touching lives
PEOPLE
01-Oct-21

MAJ Muhammad Redza Bin Mohd Asri treats his soldiers like his siblings, is not afraid to ask for brutally honest feedback and enjoys making a difference in his trainees' lives.

Fighting together as an integrated force
Cover story
Fighting together as an integrated force
OPS & TRAINING
24-Sep-21

Land and air elements worked hand-in-hand at Exercise Forging Sabre 2021 to give a clear picture of the battlefield and find the most optimal strike asset to take down the various hostile targets.

Smarter, more integrated fighting force Feature
Smarter, more integrated fighting force
OPS & TRAINING
23-Sep-21

It's the SAF's first integrated exercise since the COVID-19 pandemic, and land and air forces came together seamlessly to put their interoperability to the test.

Challenging Himself to Be Better Feature
Challenging Himself to Be Better
PEOPLE
17-Sep-21

Easy-going, flexible and humorous – that's 2WO Suraindran Sanjeev's training style when it comes to instructing NSmen.

Army's new PX to replace 5BX
Cover story
Army's new PX to replace 5BX
OPS & TRAINING
13-Sep-21

The new Prehabilitation Exercises (PX) aim to help soldiers perform better and reduce the risk of injury over time.

FIRST IN HIS FAMILY
FIRST IN HIS FAMILY
PEOPLE
08-Sep-21

To most, becoming an officer of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) would already be a huge honour. But for 2nd Lieutenant (2LT) Muhammad Ilham Rizqullah Bin Rohaizad, being commissioned holds special meaning for him as he is now the first in his extended family to become an officer.

Tough Trainer, True Leader
Cover story
Tough Trainer, True Leader
PEOPLE
03-Sep-21

LTA Chia Kok Siong is known to be a stern trainer who wants to build up and prepare his cadets to become competent officers.

Fighting as One
Cover story
Fighting as One
OPS & TRAINING
27-Aug-21

The Commandos take on their Vocation Obstacle Course as a 12-man detachment in a test of teamwork and synergy.