Kozhikode

Vedi to move HC against health policy

A group comprising human rights activists and alternative medical practitioners is planning to move the Kerala High Court against the draft health policy of the State government that makes it mandatory for children to have a vaccination certificate for school admissions.

P.A. Pouran, human rights activist and president of the Aarogya Avakasa Vedi, said on Thursday that the policy proposal would curtail the right of children to have free and compulsory education under provisions of the Right to Education Act, 2009.

“If the government is planning to act against its spirit, it means the state itself is violating the rights of children.” Also, as per the order of a Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court on August 24, 2017, every citizen had a right to privacy, which included the right to go for the health care practices of their choice.

“As health care of children is the concern of the parents, they have the right to choose the best system of medicine. If the state insists on a particular practice, it will be against the judgment of the Supreme Court,” he pointed out.

Mr. Pouran claimed that the Health Department, which was found to be in a hurry to implement the health policy, was not bothered about bringing in a comprehensive Health Act for the State, which still had the Travancore-Cochin Public Health Act for Central and Southern districts and the Madras Public Health Act for the Malabar region.

Mujeeb Kokkoor, secretary of the vedi, said between 10% and 30% of students in various districts had not undergone any vaccination. “In Malappuram district, around 17% of students, which will come to lakhs in numbers, had not taken the measles-rubella vaccine. How can the government deny them education,”, he asked.

Mr. Mujeeb, also the Parent-Teacher Association president of the Government Higher Secondary School, Kokkoor, Malappuram, said he had managed to get a ruling from the High Court that it was the parents’ choice to vaccinate their children or not.

He accused the department of not conducting any study on the side-effects of vaccination.

Mr. Pouran said that the vedi would raise its objections against the policy before the department and would take out a march to the District Medical Officer in Kozhikode soon to make people aware of its drawbacks.


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 3:55:46 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/vedi-to-move-hc-against-health-policy/article22832254.ece