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Jakarta Post

Ulemas can save children if they prioritize saving lives

  • Ati Nurbaiti

    South Tangerang, Banten

South Tangerang, Banten   /   Tue, August 11 2020   /  01:00 am
One shot, many benefits: A health worker vaccinates a toddler to increase his immunity in an integrated healthcare service post in Sukaurip village in the West Java regency of Indramayu on Monday. Vaccination programs often face opposition, which is why the role of community figures, including religious leaders, is key. (Antara/Dedhez Anggara)

The new semester has begun amid a continuing controversy over reopening schools. While educators fret about the risks of a prolonged interruption of in-person studies, others worry about a worsening gap in access to education. Some teachers have been visiting students in their homes to assist those with limited access to the internet, but they are potentially exposing themselves and their students to COVID-19. The pandemic has contributed to a rise in preventable diseases among infants because of a decline in immunization coverage. In the 1970s, mandatory vaccinations became routine at schools and health centers in the nation. Then, decentralization as a result of democratic reforms, a louder conservative movement and “anti-vaxers” were all blamed for lower coverage. Now, I worry about my grandkids’ exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases. As World Health Organiz...