Launch of ‘Immunisation Controversies: What You Really Need To Know’

For immediate release
Launch of ‘Immunisation Controversies:
What You Really Need To Know’
Book on immunisation provides a comprehensive look into vaccinology to help parents and healthcare providers make informed decisions
18 Sept 2015, Kuala Lumpur…To curb rising concern and unfounded fears among parents who are choosing not to vaccinate their children, the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (IMAM), Islamic Medical Association & Network of Indonesia (IMANI) and MyHealth Outreach (MHO) launched a book titled ‘Immunisation Controversies: What you really need to know’, at the Shangri La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The launch, held in conjunction with the 37th Malaysian  Paediatric Association (MPA) Congress and Asia Pacific Vaccinology Update, was attended by celebrity parents who shared their opinions on vaccination.

Undoubtedly, immunisation is among one of the medical interventions that has brought about tremendous improvements in health and quality of life for mankind. The recent years, however, has seen a rise in anti-vaccine sentiment fuelled by dubious internet sources.
This worrying trend is causing alarm among healthcare professionals and concerned parents, as dipping vaccine uptake in the general population would mean a return of childhood diseases such as diphtheria and measles that are almost eradicated.

“Where vaccinations are concerned, we are really victims of our own success,” declares Dato’ Dr Musa Mohd Nordin, a consultant paediatrician and neonatologist who is the editor-in-chief of the book. The Chairman of the Federation of Islamic Associations (FIMA) Advisory Council and former President of the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (IMAM) expressed concern that many parents are being misled into believing that some or all vaccines are unsafe, not Sha’riah compliant or will cause severe side effects.

The book follows an earlier version of the same title in Indonesian language, which saw sold-out success in the largest Islamic population in the world. “There is a lot of confusion and doubts among parents on the topic of immunisation, so the information provided was highly welcomed by the public and healthcare professionals. We are delighted to work with Malaysia’s IMAM to produce an improved version of the book in English for an international market,” says Dr Siti Aisyah Ismail, Foreign Affairs & Project Manager, Islamic Medical Association and Network of Indonesia (IMANI). Chan Li Jin, a writer who has been covering medical news since 2003 and founder of MyHealth Outreach shares that she has seen many changes in parenting approaches in the last decade. “Today, vaccination is such a contentious issue because tend to get agitated easily when the topic is broached. My favourite part of this book is where one of the writers mentioned that there should no divide between pro-vaxer or anti-vaxxer, because the ultimate aim is to give children the best healthcare possible. In reality, there is only one camp.”

One look at the content list shows a wide spectrum of important issues related to immunisations including medical facts, perspectives, opinions of distinguished personalities as well as an extensive FAQ section. Although peppered with Quranic verses and hadiths (sayings of the prophet Muhammad), the book is suitable for all audiences, including non-Muslims, as a reference point on vaccinology. Marion Caunter, Vivy Yusuf and Vanida Imran, celebrity parents who were present at the launch, shared their own experiences with child vaccination and expressed appreciation for an insight into something that many modern parents take for granted. 

Both mothers agree that prevention is the best approach to take where child health is concerned because a sick child can affect the entire family’s social, financial and emotional health, more so for life-threatening vaccine-preventable diseases such as meningitis and pneumococcal pneumonia. 

There are already requests for the book to be translated into Arabic, Urdu, Hindi and other languages, while an e-book version is in the pipeline for digital readers. ‘Immunisation Controversies’ is retailed at RM38 (or USD10) and all proceeds of the book will be channelled to health educational programmes for children. The book can be purchased from selected hospitals, clinics and bookstores or via post.

For updates on distribution points, to make a booking, or for further enquiries, please visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Immunisation-Controversies  or call Junainah Mohd Jaafar at 013-2761761. (by Siti Aisyah)

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