KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says the government is studying the possibility of allowing only children who have received immunisation to enrol for school.
She also said the proposal would be studied in detail.
“That’s one of the things that we are proposing as part of prevention of diseases,” she told reporters after launching the Petronas Foundation, here today.
On Monday, Bernama reported that several parties, including the Malaysian Islamic Doctors Association (Perdim) and Malaysia I-Medic had suggested the move to be implemented to protect children from preventable diseases, such as diphtheria and measles.
This followed the death a two-year-old boy in Johor last week, believed to have been due to a diphtheria infection, as it was confirmed that he had never received any immunisation since birth.
Five more children, who were reported to have been in contact with the victim, were also confirmed positive for diphtheria and were being quarantined at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru.
Dr Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, said immunisation was safe and it should not be doubted as the Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) had also issued a fatwa on its halal status.
She said the immunisation programme in 2017 reached 88% of the original target of 95%.
“We encourage (parents to give immunisation to their children). Don’t listen (to anti-vaccine group claims).
“There may be one (two) negative cases. It’s was very unfortunate but for majority of others, vaccine is safe,” she said.
Earlier in her speech at the launch of the foundation, Dr Wan Azizah also called for a closer collaboration between private and public sectors as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to bring about more impactful social development.
“Inclusive social development becomes more impactful when we are aligned to a common cause. It is then that we harness the best each can offer,” she said.
She also commended Petronas’ contribution of RM83 million in efforts to kick off the Imbak Canyon Studies Centre in Sabah which would serve as a research bank for biodiversity protection and conservation in that area.
Meanwhile, Petronas Foundation chairman Datuk Ahmad Nizam Salleh said the setting up of the foundation was aimed at streamlining all the corporate and social responsibility (CSR) works undertaken by the company, and focused on three areas namely education, community well-being and development, as well as environment.
Ahmad Nizam said thus far, Petronas had carried out more than 500 CSR programmes since its inception in 1974. — Bernama