New Straits Times

#TECH: DoctorOnCall and Bumitra ink MoU to facilitate vaccination for Muslim pilgrims

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian digital health platform, Health Digital Technologies (DoctorOnCall) inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bumiputera Tourism Operators Association of Malaysia (Bumitra) to make available the platform to Muslims on pilgrimage.

As part of the MoU, pilgrims travelling with participating Bumitra travel agencies can make inoculation appointment bookings on the DoctorOnCall platform.

DoctorOnCall co-founder and director Hazwan Najib said that with the resurgence of religious tourism, overcrowding conditions in places of worship are inevitable and vaccinations would make pilgrims susceptible to infectious diseases.

“Being vaccinated with the vaccinations will help pilgrims have better peace of mind and a more meaningful pilgrimage experience, especially for those who have medical comorbidities that could be vulnerable and in a position of risk around large crowds.

“The DoctorOnCall platform will encourage the uptake of vaccinations for a safer pilgrimage by simplifying the vaccination process. With vaccination appointments made easy through the platform, pilgrims need not travel and wait long hours in a queue in medical facilities. Instead, the platform will enable them to book physical appointments, allowing them to better adhere to vaccination guidelines to avoid overlapping side effects and help them plan their vaccination around their pilgrimage trip,” said Hazwan who signed the MoU on behalf of DoctorOnCall with Bumitra president Harun KC Ahmmu in a signing event held at Bumitra’s office here.

Championing convenience via its wide spectrum of healthcare products and services, the platform will act as an online database of healthcare providers that offer vaccinations across Malaysia. The database will help pilgrims search and identify suitable, reputable and verified clinics for vaccinations.

The pilot phase of the vaccination drive will kick off this month focusing on Kuala Lumpur and Selangor with phase two set to commence from late July onwards, covering the whole of Malaysia.

Some of the vaccinations offered through DoctorOnCall include vaccinations for meningococcal, influenza and Covid-19.

As recommended by the Health Ministry, urging Malaysian pilgrims to include the pneumococcal vaccination to increase protection against serious and potentially fatal pneumococcal infections, the platform will be highlighting pneumococcal vaccine providers to ensure accessibility.

According to Harun, the health and safety of Malaysian pilgrims are their core and that the association always looks at continuously improving ways and identifying methods for pilgrims to take better care of their health along their pilgrimage journey.

“We are elated to be partnering with DoctorOnCall to extend the protective powers of inoculation amongst pilgrims. When performing pilgrimage, we often come into contact with people from all over the world who may unknowingly be carrying vaccine-preventable diseases.

“Together with DoctorOnCall, our pilgrims will be empowered with not only necessary vaccinations but also better awareness and knowledge about these transmittable diseases, helping more Malaysian pilgrims to take charge of their health, giving them a worry-free pilgrimage experience,” said Harun.