Vaccination Clinic for Myanmarese Refugees

Project Vaccination Clinic for Myanmarese Refugees
Objectives

To provide free vaccination services for Myanmarese ‘persons of concern’* under the age of 18

Project Partners • UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) • Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Malaysia • Embassy of the Czech Republic
Activities

• Informational sessions with the Myanmarese communities • Vaccination clinics • Follow-up and engagement sessions through community workers

Locations Ampang and Selayang
Period • Ampang Clinics – July 2010 to April 2011 • Selayang Clinics – October 2010 to December 2011
Accomplishments

From July to December 2010, over 11 clinics: • A total of 877 patients was vaccinated (566 patients in Ampang; and 311 patients in Selayang) • A total of 1,499 vaccine doses were given (894 doses in Ampang, and 605 doses in Selayang)

Background

MERCY Malaysia has been working with the UNHCR, Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Malaysia and the Czech Republic since 2007 to deliver medical assistance to the ‘persons of concern’* living in Malaysia, in particular the Rohingya Myanmarese community. This was initiated to address the challenges they face in Malaysia, specifically in terms of healthcare access and provision. In July 2010, in collaboration with all the partners, MERCY Malaysia started a vaccination programme for Myanmarese living in the Ampang-Cheras and Selayang areas. The target beneficiaries for this vaccination clinic are children of the Myanmarese community (aged below 18) who have not received their full course of vaccinations. MERCY Malaysia provides free vaccination services to protect these children and the communities they live in from the following diseases: a) Tuberculosis b) Diphtheria c) Pertussis d) Tetanus e) Measles MERCY Malaysia is one of the few NGOs in Malaysia that run vaccination outreach clinics due to the complex requirement for the vaccine storage and cold chain process, the associated expenses and the complicated patient data management involved. MERCY Malaysia is fortunate to be the first recipient in Malaysia to receive a technologically advanced vaccine refrigerator which was donated by True Energy, a company based in Wales, UK.

MERCY Malaysia efforts

Informational sessions were held at Ampang and Selayang to raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination, address any concerns the parents might have and to promote our vaccination sessions. MERCY Malaysia works closely with the people through dedicated Myanmarese community support workers, whose role includes following up with return patients to ensure their commitment for subsequent appointments. The community workers also make house visits to counsel parents into getting second and third doses of vaccinations for their children when required. Through the partnership with UNHCR, 3-4 interpreters were provided to assist the patients at the clinics as many of the Myanmarese can only speak their native language.