Under the government’s policy to provide effective health services, children and expectant mothers will soon be required to be vaccinated by law. Parents and legal guardians will be in violation of the law, that is expected to come into effect late 2018, if their children don’t receive all of their required vaccinations.
According to the Law on Vaccination, all children and pregnant women must be vaccinated to boost their immune system against diseases. With the measure still being drafted by health authorities, the law is expected to be fully implemented by late 2018. By increasing access to vaccines, officials are focused on protecting the benefits and the right to healthcare for pregnant women and children.
Director General of the Hygiene and Health Promotion Department of the Ministry of Health, Dr Phath Keungsaneth stated, to effectively reduce the rate of infant and maternal mortality, a policy for proper health care and improved access to vaccines must be put in place. When implemented, the new measure is expected to promote an adequate immunization system for expectant mothers and children under 15, boosting their immunity against polio and other potentially fatal diseases.
In attempt to achieve maximum participation, village chiefs, health officials and village volunteers pledge to actively communicate the directive to parents and legal guardians, and encourage them to take part in vaccination activities in their villages or communities.
Due to the lack of knowledge on vaccines in previous years, parents were concerned on the negative impacts that vaccinations would have on their children and would forego the recommended vaccines.
Since 2011, officials have been focusing on improving the health sector, instituting measures such as the Law on Alcoholic Beverages; Healthcare Law; Law on Food; Law on Drugs and Medical Products; Law on Hygiene, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion; Law on HIV/AIDS Control and Prevention; and the Law on Tobacco Control. The health sector now has more than 100 laws in effect.
According to the ministry, the health sector plans to strengthen the Law on Disease Control, Hygiene and Health Promotion, Healthcare Insurance Law and others related laws in 2017-18.