BALIK PULAU – The Health Ministry has again urged parents to vaccinate their children to avoid being infected by Diphtheria in the wake of the six deaths.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Hilmi Yahaya said that a total of 16 cases had been recorded nationwide with six cases being recorded in Penang.
Hilmi also applauded and welcomed the Education Ministry’s efforts to ensure that all school children must be vaccinated nationwide, in a move to ensure the children’s health.
“Children could be easily infected by the virus compared to adults as their anti-body is still weak. I hope that through the explanation session regarding the importance of vaccination to parents, they would understand better,” he said.
Meanwhile, on another issue regarding Ketum leaves, Hilmi said that currently there had been no research done to prove the medical benefit of Ketum leaves and there is no law prohibiting the leaves to be planted, but it is illegal to consume it.
“Currently Ketum leaves were categorised under the Poisons Act, and our attempts to place it under the Dangerous Drugs Act is currently being put on hold as extensive research needs to be done beforehand,” he said when commenting on the proposal by RISDA to encourage small time farmers to plant Ketum leaves to be exported.
RISDA Chairman, Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said that the agency would hold talks with the Health Ministry on the matter after receiving detailed research on the benefits of Ketum leaves from the medical perspective.
He also said that there were high demands from pharmaceutical companies from America and Europe for the Ketum leaves for high value medicine. – BERNAMA