IN conjunction with World Immunisation Week 2019 themed “Protected Together, Vaccines Work”, University Malaya Specialist Centre (UMSC) and Pfizer organised a public forum on “Vaccination for Children and Travel” at Connexion, Nexus Bangsar South.
About 100 adults and children participated in the event to gain information on the importance of vaccinations for children, adults and travellers to prevent life-threatening health situations among the community.
UMSC collaborated with Pfizer in efforts to complement both parties’ mission of providing education, care and support services to the community regarding critical vaccine-related health matters, with the forum focusing on pneumococcal prevention.
Participants were also provided with free basic health screening, body mass index and blood pressure test, special children’s pneumococcal vaccination package, vaccination package for prospective haj pilgrims and a children’s play area.
UMSC medical director Prof Dr M Vickneswaran said, “Considering the alarming increase of death rates in the country due to vaccine-preventable disease, we hope this event has provided a serious level of awareness regarding the dangers of not being vaccinated. Not only do children, but adults also need to realise they are at risk for this disease.”
The World Health Organisa-tion (WHO) states that pneumococcal disease is the world’s number one vaccine-preventable cause of death among infants and children younger than five years of age.
Up to 1.6 million people die each year globally as a result of pneumococcal diseases and about half of them are children younger than five in developing countries.
WHO classes pneumococcal disease as a major cause of mortality and morbidity.
Speakers at the event were medical experts from UMSC, including paediatric respiratory medicine specialist Dr Eg Kah Peng who spoke on “What Parents Need To Know About Vaccines”.
UMSC dietetic services head Rozanna M. Rosly spoke on nutrition while infectious disease specialist Dr Asma Sohail, spoke on “Vaccination for Travellers” and closed the session with “Controversies in Vaccination”.
Pfizer Malaysia corporate affairs lead Azwar Kamaruddin said, “Pfizer is pleased to partner with UMSC for the Vaccines Awareness Forum and the week-long campaign from April 22 to 28 to expand pneumococcal awareness as well as highlight and recognise the importance of immunisation.
“Our desire is to provide access to medicines that are safe and effective” said Azwar.