Leaving no one behind

Nazir Sufari

CAMERON Highlands is one of Malaysia’s most important places for food. Workers on the farms are a mixture of migrants and locals.

The migrant workers are mainly from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Nepal. Achieving herd immunity is very important to this vulnerable group, upon which our main supply of vegetables depends.

“Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) is the first humanitarian organisation mandated by the Covid-19 immunisation task force to provide vaccination for migrants. 

“We will vaccinate everyone regardless of whether they are documented. We want to make sure everyone around us is safe.

“The MRCS will also vaccinate migrant workers with no documents because our policy is vaccine is for everyone,” said Suhana Sidik, the board member of the MRCS.

In June this year, prices of vegetables from Cameron Highlands shot up 40% after the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) was imposed on several areas including Kg Raja (Sg Ikan), Blue Valley, Sun Park, Corina Village Park and Kg Raja New Village.

About 65% of vegetable farm operators in Cameron Highlands were affected at that time. 

The MRCS works together with the Pahang health department and the local communities to vaccinate migrants in Cameron Highlands.

With a targeted approach, the MRCS has successfully vaccinated 400 migrants in the region and will continue the effort for the coming weeks. 

The collaboration between the Ministry of Health and Protect Health Corporation Sdn Bhd (ProtectHealth), is the first of its kind to be led entirely by a humanitarian organisation. 

To date, the MRCS has successfully vaccinated more than 7,000 migrants from at least 10 different ethnic groups in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Sabah. 

As part of the ongoing vaccination effort, the MRCS has also assisted the inoculation of the bedridden, physically disabled and Orang Asli.

The group has also started with the vaccination of school children to support the wider vaccination campaign throughout the country to achieve the MRCS objective of leaving no one behind and to ensure the vulnerable are adequately protected against the Covid-19 virus. 

The MRCS is appointed by ProtectHealth to participate in the national Covid-19 immunisation programme as healthcare non-profit organisation.

Agriculture and Food Industries Minister Ronald Kiandee, during the Program Vaksinasi Barisan Hadapan Industri AgroMakanan at Dewan Serbaguna Kampung Raja on September 19, said about 11,000 of 17,000 workers in the agricultural sector have been vaccinated. - October 4, 2021.

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