India has begun the process of sending Covid-19 vaccines as gifts to several countries in its neighbourhood

India conducted intensive training of healthcare and allied personnel of "partner countries" as it began dispatching consignments of Covid-19 vaccines to help them begin a vaccination campaign to tame the pandemic.

Healthcare personnel were imparted training on Tuesday and Wednesday in at least 13 countries, including immediate neighbours like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Maldives, and Mauritius.

According to sources familiar with these developments, a similar exercise was also carried out in Brazil, Seychelles, Mongolia, Bahrain, Brazil, Morocco, and Oman.

The sessions covered critical aspects like the nature of the vaccines developed for the Covid-19 disease, setting up sites and conducting the actual Covid-19 vaccination exercise, the sources said.

"Vaccine, logistics and cold chain management was covered during these sessions," one of them explained. The training sessions, which included national and provincial-level government officials, cold chain officials and partners from WHO and UNICEF, also highlighted safe injection practices & waste management.

The sessions lasted for nearly five-and-a-hours and focused extensively on the training of health staff, including making them aware of Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI). This included familiarising them with the process of monitoring and supervision in addition to recording and reporting during the vaccination exercise.

Other key topics covered during these sessions were governance mechanisms and inter-sectoral coordination for the vaccination roll-out, advocacy, and crisis management.

India has already dispatched the first consignments of the Covid-19 vaccine as gifts to several countries including Nepal, Maldives, Bangladesh, and Bhutan.

This is in keeping with India's assurance that it would provide made-in-India vaccines to its partner countries on a priority basis.