KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 -- The Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia’s Response and Relief Team (IMARET) is looking forward to collaborating with the authorities on the planning and execution of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, particularly for the marginalised communities, including undocumented foreigners and refugees.
In a statement today, IMARET said in order for Malaysia to recover in terms of health and economy, it is only apt that all who are involved from every sector are immunised.
It said since 2015, the organisation has been running mobile clinics in Johor, Kedah and the Klang Valley which aimed to provide primary health services and health education to the refugees, adding that some of the clinics are operational and fully equipped to run the vaccination programme.
“Under the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) Health Programme coordinated by the National Welfare Foundation and funded by Qatar Charity, IMARET and our fellow partners -- MERCY Malaysia and Malaysian Relief Agency, have set up five primary health and also mobile clinics in Johor, Kedah and the Klang Valley.
“Some of the clinics are already operating and are fully equipped to run vaccination programmes, with adherence to all the guidelines required. We are also working closely with other international non-governmental organisation (NGO) partners such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Tzu Chi Foundation which run their own primary health clinics in Penang and Kuala Lumpur, respectively,” the statement read.
IMARET also said it has implemented mobile vaccination catch-up clinics (MMR vaccine - measles, mumps, rubella - and Hepatitis B) for the refugees throughout the country, in collaboration with international agencies such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and other NGOs.
It is only through collective planning, collaborations, and inclusivity that the aim of a successful mass vaccination programme can be implemented in Malaysia, hence, bringing the COVID-19 pandemic to an end, it said.
Previously, it was reported that the government has agreed to extend the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme, which will start by the end of this month, to foreign nationals residing in Malaysia, with no charges imposed.
The decision was taken after seeing the high number of cases from clusters arising from foreign workers and the high cost of treating and quarantining COVID-19 patients as a result.
Therefore, IMARET said the decision is crucial as Malaysia needs to achieve the herd immunity as part of the country’s exit strategy in overcoming the pandemic.
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