Ministry in the dark over school alleged of enrolling children not vaccinated

A drone shot of Addu city Hithadhoo in the south of Maldives. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Well-known local pediatrician Dr. Ahmed Faisal has alleged that a school in Addu city admitted students without checking if the children had fully administered the required vaccine doses.

Several people are left questioning whether children are safe in schools are a measles case was confirmed in the Maldives, the first since 2009. The case was a result of the infected child not administering the required two vaccine doses.

Dr. Faisal responded to these concerns by stating that children are usually enrolled in schools after completing the vaccine doses and there was no reason to worry about the risk of diseases if the child had administered the required doses. Dr. Faisal noted that the issue was when some children were enrolled in schools without completing the administration of the required vaccines.

“The issue is that children are enrolled in schools without vaccinating. There is a school in Addu city that admits children who are not vaccinated,” said Dr. Faisal in a tweet.

Education Minister Dr. Aishath Ali soon responded to this tweet by saying that such allegations by a professional would create fear and uncertainty amongst the public and requested the doctor to share the information he has with the authorities so that proper steps can be taken.

Dr. Faisal responded to the Minister by saying that HPA and the government agencies in Addu city in charge of vaccinating were fully aware of the school he had mentioned. He also stated that he was informed of the school when he traveled to the city with a team that was sent regarding the matter.

When contacted by the “Sun” Education Ministry officials stated that they were not aware of this and that the matter would be investigated.

Another tweet by Dr. Faisal also called for the vaccine cards of the students in the school to be checked and that it was important to check whether children were vaccinated whenever they are enrolled in a school. The doctor also called for a regulation by the Ministry regarding the matter to be formed.

A tweet by a doctor working at IGMH read that it was a danger to the public if children are enrolled in schools without vaccinating. Working or campaigning against vaccination was described by the doctor as a danger to national security that was a part of the responsibility of police and security authorities to stop.

Since 1986, three types of vaccines have to be administered by children who are enrolled in grade one of the schools in the country. A change brought to the vaccine schedule by the Department of Public Health in 2007 saw three additional vaccines added to the schedule.

The vaccines to be administered under the regulations currently are:

  • 1 dose of BCG Vaccine
  • 3 doses of DPT Vaccine
  • 4 doses of Polio Vaccine
  • 3 doses of Hepatitis B Vaccine
  • 1 dose of Measles Vaccine
  • 1 dose of MMR Vaccine