Pekanbaru, Riau (ANTARA) - A group of foreign child refugees, currently enrolled at the primary school in Pekanbaru City, Riau Province, will receive free measles and rubella (MR) vaccination under the Indonesian government’s decades-long preventive healthcare program.

Since October, several state primary schools in the city have received nearly a hundred young refugees to attend classes and join programs, such as immunizations, intended for children.

"The school will facilitate MR immunizations for the first grade only, and in here, we have 22 foreign child refugees registered as students. From that number, 12 of them are in the first grade," Ismiati, the SDN 159 primary school's principal, had noted in Pekanbaru, Tuesday.

Ismiati explained that the immunization will be conducted by the Payung Sekaki clinic on Oct 24.

Before the students receive vaccination, the school will seek parental permission.

"Today, we have handed over the permission form to parents through the students," she revealed.

Apart from the immunizations, Ismiati revealed that the young refugees had also partaken in several healthcare programs, including a brushing teeth workshop facilitated by the local clinic.

"They were excited about brushing their teeth with other children," she stated.

The SDN 159 was one of the eight state primary schools in Pekanbaru City that has for the pioneering instant received 81 foreign child refugees from Afghanistan, Iran, and Palestine. They attended classes in spite of Indonesia yet having to ratify the UN's 1951 Refugee Convention.

Under President Joko Widodo's administration, children of refugees and asylum seekers are allowed to temporarily stay in Indonesia and were also allowed to enroll in state schools in the country.

According to UN's record, over 14 thousand refugees and asylum seekers had stayed in Indonesia in the past years.
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Translator: FB Anggoro/Genta Tenri Mawangi
Editor: Suharto
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