Association to record details of unimmunised Penans

MIRI: The Penan Empowerment Networking Association (Pena) will go to the ground to record the details of unimmunised Penan and share the information with the relevant authorities.

Pena chairwoman Elia Bit said this would be carried out during field trips, which would also cover members of the community facing citizenship registration issues.

She called on the Sarawak government to allocate funds for Pena’s outreach programme to Belaga and Baram for the benefit of the Penan community.

Elia Bit

Elia said Pena will be in Ba Magoh, for the second time, and Bario in August with the National Registration Department’s mobile unit to record the details of Penans still without MyKads.

“At the same time, we’ll collect lists of unimmunised Penans too this time. I suspect the Penan settlements in rural Bario, Ba Magoh, and Murum have unimmunised pockets, as some of them just recently settled from a nomadic lifestyle,” she told The Borneo Post yesterday.

Elia, a Penan from Menok, Tinjar in Baram, said she would also bring the issue up during Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Baram’s next meeting.

“We’ve already set up a bureau for each need and will surely work together for it,” she added.

On Tuesday, consultant paediatrician Dr Philip Raja said pockets of the Penan community could be vulnerable to communicable diseases if they had missed out on vaccinations.

This followed 15 deaths among the Batek tribe of the Orang Asli community in Kelantan due to measles.

In 2005, 13 Penan children and an adult died due to a measles outbreak in the Bakun region, where 66 measles cases were recorded.

The Penan community in Sungai Urun had never been exposed to measles prior to the incident, but one of them had married an Iban woman from outside Belaga and the couple had returned to the settlement.

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