KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — The cost of providing vaccination and immunisation services to Filipino children at the Alternative Learning Centre in Sabah is fully borne by the Philippine government, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
Dr Dzulkefly said on July 30, both the Malaysia and the Philippine governments have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the scope of cooperation on health aspects for both countries.
He said the MoU was signed by him and his counterpart from the Philippines, Dr Francisco T. Duque III.
“Hence, in terms of the cost, it is fully borne by the government of the Philippines. Therefore, there is no issue of cost to our government,” he said during the ministers’ question time session at the Dewan Rakyat today.
Dr Dzulkefly said this in his reply to a supplementary question from Ahmad Hassan (Warisan-Papar) pertaining to the cost that would be borne by the government of Malaysia to provide vaccination and immunisation assistance to Filipinos in Sabah.
In order to achieve herd immunity, Dr Dzulkefly said at least 95 per cent of children had to receive immunisation including those who were not citizens or those without identification documents.
“If this group is excluded, herd immunity among Malaysian children cannot be achieved as a result of reduced immunisation coverage, and this would lead to the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases,” he said.
He also emphasised that in the event of transmission, the cost of treatment would be higher than the cost of the vaccines.
Therefore, he said he was always looking for opportunities to ensure that all children would be given immunisation.