Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

UAE headteachers called on to help boost vaccination rates

Vital message delivered to senior school leaders at event organised by the Ministry of Health and Prevention

The World Health Organisation has listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the top threats to global health this year. AP
The World Health Organisation has listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the top threats to global health this year. AP

UAE headteachers are being urged to help drive up vaccination rates and stave off the threat of preventable diseases.

At a workshop organised by the Ministry of Health and Prevention, school leaders were asked to work more closely with their staff members and health workers to bolster vaccination coverage among pupils as part of the National Immunisation Programme.

Dr Hussein Abdel-Rahman Al-Rand, an assistant under-secretary at the ministry, said the immunisation programme plays a key role in boosting immunity against a number of diseases, and is particularly vital for school pupils.

The UAE has developed a mandatory immunisation schedule for children, from birth through to school grade 11, to protect them from vaccine-preventable illnesses.

During the event, Dr Al-Rand reassured school headteachers that all vaccines available are currently in use and are subject to rigorous safety checks.

He said that the ministry provides vaccines at 69 healthcare centres across Dubai and the northern emirates, as well as at an additional nine preventive medicine centres.

The UAE's vaccination strategy has led to encouraging results in the fight against measles.

A countrywide mandatory measles immunisation programme was launched for everyone aged between one and 18 years old in 2015, the same year the country recorded 826 measles cases.

That number fell to 173 by the ends of 2018 and there were just nine cases confirmed in the first three months of this year.

Updated: May 7, 2019 07:11 PM

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