Education Minister refutes fear-mongering talks

The Education Minister has retorted pediatrician Dr Ahmed Faisal's tweet upon news of the three-year-old measles victim.

With the anti-vaccination issue that came to light, Dr Faisal had stated that a school in Addu was accepting unvaccinated children into their institution.

Opposing this allegation, Education Minister Aishath Ali said that an experienced individual speaking in this manner would only incite fear among the public, further appealing to the doctor to reveal any information he was privy to.

"Please do reveal any information you are privy to, so that we may take immediate steps against the matter", she said.

Dr Faisal had additionally mentioned that both the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and those liable for vaccination in Addu city were aware of the school.

"I received this information through them [HPA], after having arrived in Addu with my team to investigate the issue", Dr Faisal later wrote on a tweet.

HPA has not yet made a comment on the matter.

In relation to this, the doctor further added that all students must be examined to check whether they have received the proper vaccine doses before admission, regardless of their age. He also highlighted the importance of the Ministry of Education creating a guideline as such.

Several doctors have been advising the public to take caution via Twitter as students are attending school amidst the re-emergence of measles. Doctors have described those accepting unvaccinated children into schools and enforcing anti-vaccination efforts as a great danger to the public, and a threat to the security of the nation.

Since 1986, it has been a requirement at Maldivian schools for students to have been immunized by three types of vaccine prior to admission in the 1st grade.

While measles kills about 134,000 people around the globe every year, WHO awarded the Maldives for eliminating the disease on the 7th of September, 2017.