May we bring to your attention the article devoted to a situation in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, when righths of the children not vaccinated against measles, were abused by state department Rospotrebnadzor.
Back in USSR...
An illegitimate campaign aimed at Russian citizens to limit their rights and personal freedoms is going on in Russia. Gennadiy Onischenko, chief sanitary officer of Russia, put on a drive against citizens who rejected to be vaccinated. Gennadiy Onischenko is also famous for his prohibitive regulations against import some goods from overseas.
RosPotrebNadzor (The Russian Federal Service on Customers’ Rights Protection and Human Well-Being Surveillance) led by Gennadiy Onischenko under the shelter of eradicating measles in Russia carries “retributive” policy in accordance with totalitarian traditions in the field of psychiatric medicine as it was in the Soviet regime.
Some parents refused to vaccinate their children as they have such a right according to the Russian Federation legislation and as a result they were “punished” – their children, not vaccinated against measles, were not admitted to kindergartens. So, the parent's right not to vaccinate their children as well as the children’s right to attend kindergarten was encroached. In the judgment of RosPotrebNadzor the children should not be admitted to kindergartens as outbreak of measles has place in Russia whereas number of people fallen ill with measles is very low.
In February 2011 Mr. Onischenko issued such a decree as “Follow-up actions to eradicate the epidemic of measles in Russia”. According to this decree chief sanitary officers of RF issued such decrees in regions in February 2012. Particularly, on 02 February 2012 I. Rakitin, chief sanitary officer in Saint-Petersburg issued a decree No 1 “Precautions to be taken against outbreak of measles”. According to this decree I. Rakitin bound Education Committee in Saint-Petersburg not to admit children, not vaccinated against measles, to kindergartens. Moreover, this decree is valid until further notice. I.Rakitin did not have legal foundations to perpetrate such brutal acts. Because, as of 02 February 2012 number of people fallen ill with measles in Saint-Petersburg was 81 people that is approximate is 1,6 people per 100.000 people in Saint-Petersburg with population size of 5 million.
But I. Rakitin in his decree doesn’t declare an epidemic of measles as well as a danger of epidemic of measles. The only thing is Chief sanitary officer of Saint-Petersburg does – says like “because of deterioration of the epidemic of measles”, “period of trouble”, “there is a danger of forming of precinctive strain of measles”. But all these phrases are not enough to provide legal reasoning.
Education Committee of Saint-Petersburg led by O. Ivanova unquestioningly executes the decree issued by Mr. Rakitin and doesn’t allow children, not vaccinated against measles, to attend kindergartens. As a result hundreds of children in Saint-Petersburg and in Saint-Petersburg region, whose parents refused to vaccinate their children as they have such a right according to the Russian Federation law FL-157 “About immunoprophylaxis of infectious diseases” have to stay at homes now.
The parents were refused medical certificates (of unfitness for work), as in kindergartens of Saint-Petersburg a quarantine of measles was not imposed, because there were not children fallen ill with measles there. So, little children up to 7 years old faced a problem of social estrangement as well as their parents faced a problem of involuntary unemployment.
On Rospotrebnadzor and Education Committee’s side is public prosecutor's office of Saint-Petersburg. The parents of not vaccinated children applied to prosecutor's office of Saint-Petersburg for restoration of their infringed rights. In reply to it they got the bureaucratic runaround that dismissal of not vaccinated children from kindergartens goes in accordance with Legislation of RF. The wheels of state started - vicious circle closed up.
Many parents of little children suppose that Head of Rospotrebnadzor – Gennadiy Onischenko is a heartless bureaucrat who dreams of “one-man rule” in field of vaccination. Holding a high position of chief sanitary officer of Russia Gennadiy Onischenko not minces words toward citizens which lawfully enjoy their rights and calls them offenders and irresponsible parents. Once Mr. Onischenko willfully, contrary to law forbade not vaccinated children to take part in New Year’s celebration in the Kremlin.
Such unlawful act led by Rospotrebnadzor department against children not vaccinated against measles was supported by a large-scale television channel – NTV. On Sunday television broadcast NTV channel said that lawful right of parents not to vaccinate their children is no other than “fashion for obscurantism”. The target of the broadcast was not to understand why children were refused to attend kindergarten but put additional psychological pressure on parents refused to vaccinate their children. As we can see this TV broadcast fully answers the “Mefistofelian” purpose of Mr. Onischenko.
These days it is exerting pressure on citizens in field on vaccination in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and in other regions of Russia. Certain cases when people fell ill with measles in hospitals resulted in little children not vaccinated against measles were refused to attend kindergartens. They were advised to be vaccinated to get permission to attend kindergartens.
We face such situation when there is no epidemic of measles, there is low morbidity rate of measles and in spite of this Rospotrebnadzor department with a stroke of the pen abrogated a right of citizens to refuse be vaccinated though this right prescribed by Federal Law.
Doctors in children's [pediatric] polyclinics and doctors in hospitals got a hard direction to vaccinate the children which were not vaccinated before, the children which should not be vaccinated by medical reasons, the children being in hospitals. The parents whose children were refused to attend kindergartens had to be discharged or to vaccinate their children against measles.
The education department obeyed Rospotrebnadzor’s unlawful requirements blindly and refused to protect the rights of the children.
It is already third month since not vaccinated children were refused to attend kindergartens.
State department Rospotrebnadzor is going on to curtail the rights of citizens of RF. On Rospotrebnadzor’s application the children not vaccinated against measles will not go to summer camps.
The public organization “Health: Informed choice!” is keeping a watch on what's happening.
5 April, 2012. Translator Mila Menshikova
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