Mimika Health Office Secretary Reynold Ubra remarked here on Wednesday that since Tuesday the office had deployed a technical team consisting of doctors and medical personnel to comb the schools in the district's capital city of Timika to find out whether or not the students had received measles, rubella and polio immunization vaccines.
The step was taken considering that until the end of last October, the achievement of measles, rubella and polio immunization in Mimika was still at 64.64 percent.
The immunization program is said to have been successful if the achievement has reached at least 95 percent of the total population targeted.
"Right now the team that we deploy to the schools is no longer from the Community Health Centers (Puskesmas) but from the district office," Raynold said.
Based on the Mimika Health Office data, there are still a range of 16,000 children aged 9 months to 15 years who have not received measles, rubella and polio immunization vaccines in the August to October period in Mimika District.
The target of measles, rubella and polio immunization in Mimika this year is given to 55,479 children aged 9 months to 15 years.
In the follow-up immunization activity, the Mimika Health Office collaborated with a number of religious leaders and the Mimika Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB).
"We need to involve religious leaders so that there is no misinformation received by the community regarding the policy of mass measles, rubella and polio immunization. Our religious leaders expect their cooperation to encourage active involvement of schools and parents in immunization activities through good sermon in mosques and churches," Raynold said.
In addition to cooperating with religious leaders, the team also held meetings with school principals, especially schools where previously the measles, rubella and polio immunization achievement levels were still very minimal.
The cause of the low coverage of measles, rubella and polio immunization in Mimika is that there is still a false understanding of some parents regarding the halalness of measles, rubella and polio vaccines and the impact of the vaccine.
Hence, the presence of doctors in the technical team is expected to dispel the worry of the community.
"This is not the Mimika Health Office program but a government program so that children remain healthy and immune to the three diseases," Raynold explained.
Reporting by Evarianus Supar, Othniel T
Editing by Fardah A