I woke up this morning at about 5 and on opening the windows, the sweet scent of jasmine floated into the bedroom. It has a therapeutic effect on me. After breathing in deeply a few times, I felt adequately charged to start off my day. My cat, Tuah, did not share the bed with us last night, so I slept right through. Normally, Tuah would creep in stealthily and make himself comfortable in the middle of our king-sized bed. He has an uncanny way of claiming territory leaving us with barely enough space on either side to stretch out our weary bodies, let alone sleep comfortably.
I have not been feeling very well since we started getting the rain about a week ago. Nothing serious, just a mild case of running nose. Nevertheless, I am quite worried that it might develop into something more drastic - H1N1 in particular.
I read in the papers last Sunday that Cambodia had started a nationwide vaccination programme on ALL children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years, pregnant women and those with chronic lung diseases. It came as no surprise to me when developed countries like Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. announced that all their citizens would be vaccinated regardless of whether they were vulnerable or not. But for a country like Cambodia to undertake such a noble act is something else, given its under developed status (or is it developing?) Even if it were a developing nation, then that makes it even with Malaysia. But, is Malaysia as responsible and sensitive towards her citizens as far as H1N1 is concerned?
Of course, we are constantly reminded to seek immediate help if we have all the symptoms and that vaccination will be given to all who are considered "vulnerable". The problem is, how do we know whether we are in the high risk group and even if we are able to identify, how far advanced are we into a certain illness before we are deemed eligible for the vaccination. What is the instrument of measurement? Obesity, diabetes and asthma are some of those in the high risk category but I'm sure not all would be entertained if they were to request for the vaccination. If, however, priority is given to them after they tested positive, then, it is no longer preventive in nature. I thought prevention is always better than cure.
I think Malaysia is very vague in addressing this issue. I think Malaysia should follow in the footsteps of her neighbour, Cambodia, in curbing the disease from spreading. I think Malaysia should practise what she preaches in line with her 1Malaysia slogan of "Rakyat Didahulukan, Pencapaian Diutamakan".