A student receives a diphtheria vaccination in Ciputat, Banten, on Dec. 27, 2017. (Antara Photo/Muhammad Iqbal)

Indonesian Ulemas Urge Vaccination Against Diphtheria Outbreak


JANUARY 04, 2018

Serang. The Banten branch of the Indonesian Ulema Council, or MUI, issued a statement on Wednesday (03/01) urging Muslim parents to get their children vaccinated against diphtheria as an outbreak of the disease continues all over Indonesia. 

A.M. Romly, the head of MUI Banten, said the provincial administration has been working hard to provide vaccination for everyone from age one to nineteen.

"[Diphtheria] threatens people's lives, so getting vaccinated is necessary to keep them safe," Romly said, as quoted by Antara news agency.

Controversy about whether or not vaccination is "halal" (permitted) for Muslims has been going on for some time in Indonesia.

Government health officials said they have had to deal with parents resisting vaccination for their children.

The Health Ministry declared diphtheria outbreaks in 20 provinces across Indonesia, including Banten, in November 2017.

Diphtheria is a serious bacterial infection that affects the mucous membranes of the nose and throat and may cause difficulty breathing, paralysis and even death in serious cases.