Immunisation in the Gombak Health District, Selangor, Malaysia
Maternal Child Health (MCH) services provide comprehensive health services to prevent morbidity and mortality, and improve and maintain the health of mothers and children.
In recent times in some of our communities, an anti-vaccines group has become influential causing a number of parents and guardians to refuse to vaccinate their children. This resulted in the number of vaccine refusals rose from 99 cases in 2014 to 154 in 2018.
This in turn led to an outbreak of measles and two deaths from diphtheria.
Nurses studied a small population in the Rawang area of around 200 people, including adults and children, and looked into the reasons why parents were refusing to have their children vaccinated.
They designed an educational programme that helped people to understand that vaccines are acceptable for Malaysian people of the Muslim faith.
Since introducing the scheme, almost all of the children in the area have had their required vaccines, which is helping to produce herd immunity in the community.
Nurses have played an important role in providing appropriate health education to parents and guardians, and enabled them to overcome their doubts about the benefits of immunisation to their children and society as a whole.
Since the introduction of the programme there have been no deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases in the local area.