• Vaccine-Preventable Diseases – Malaysia: Diphtheria, Measles

    The number of confirmed Vaccine-Preventable diphtheria cases in Malaysia has risen to 14 after an additional case was reported in a 6-year-old boy from Kedah.

    According to Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, the boy presented with a fever on 26 Jun [2016], and his condition worsened, and he was placed on a ventilator. He was transferred to a hospital in Kuala Lumpur for treatment and was confirmed positive for diphtheria. Noor Hisham noted the child was not up-to-date on his vaccinations.

    Concerning the rise in Vaccine-Preventable measles cases in Malaysia this year [2016], Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the number of cases were up 340 percent to 873 as of the 1st week of June [2016], compared to 197 during the corresponding period last year [2015].

    This increase has health authorities concerned about the number of people refusing vaccinations, calling this “drastic upward trend” worrying.

    In Selangor state alone, there were 1541 cases of vaccine rejection in 2015, up from 918 in 2014 and 637 in 2013.

    On Saturday [2 Jul 2016], education minister Mahdzir Khalid said that he hoped to enforce compulsory vaccination of school students this year [2016] or early next year. However, Health Minister Dr S. Subramaniam said that vaccination will not be made compulsory for the time being but that there is a need to further educate parents on the importance of having their children immunized.


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