by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 7th July 1991
DAP calls for full public inquiry as to how the government’s nationwide Hepatitis B programme of newborns and children turned into a Hepatitis B infection programme
A month ago, panic was created among new parents all over the country over the babies BCG over-dosage in government hospitals.
The Health Ministry admitted that as a result of an administrative foul-up when it switched from a Taiwanese supplier of the vaccine to a French firm, new-born babies in the country in government hospitals were administered over-dosage of the BCG vaccine.
The Health Ministry claimed however that there was no long-term side effect to such BCG over-dosage.
There is now another nation-wide panic among new parents because the government’s nationwide Hepatitis B immunisation programme is inflecting newborns and children with Hepatitis B instead immunising them from the disease.
The Government’s nation-wide Hepatitis B immunisation programme among newborns and children may have been jeopardised as the Health Ministry has confirmed that some private doctors have been using only half of the Government’s recommended paediatric dose to vaccine newborns and children.
What must raise grave concern among new parents is the report that susceptible children or infants born to Hepatitis B carrier mothers would definitely not get any protection from the disease if they only receive half of the paediatric dose.
According to a senior government doctor, these children will become carriers and eventually suffer the various complications of chronic Hepatitis B.
This means instead of immunising the newborns and children from Hepatitis B, they are being infected with Hepatitis B.
This is most scandalous and shows that there is something very wrong, lax and incompetent in the Health Ministry where there can be scandal after another seriously affecting the health and lives of newborns and children.
DAP calls for a full public inquiry as to how the government’s nationwide Hepatitis B immunisation programme among newborns and children could have turned into a Hepatitis B infection programme.