Firstly, diptheria is caused by a bacteria not a virus, so that Islamic healer knows shit. Secondly if its all in God's hands, why are you trying to spruit your own healing method? Sounds like a contradiction. Now that's out the way....Islamic anti-vaxxers undermine efforts to prevent diphtheria outbreak in Indonesia
By Indonesia correspondent Adam Harvey
Updated about 4 hours ago
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A child's graffiti is scrawled on the walls of a Jakarta home: tangled scribbles, simple drawings and the first letters of a five-year-old boy learning to write his name.
Diphtheria outbreak in Indonesia has infected hundreds and killed 44
Anti-vaxxer Dewi Hestyawati believes cupping could combat outbreak
Vaccinations prevented diphtheria outbreaks in Australia
"Faris," written over and over in pencil.
"He wanted to be an astronaut," said Faris' dad, Zarkasih.
"He wanted me to buy him an astronaut suit to go to the moon.
"What can I say — I miss him. He reached out for my hand and kissed me each time I went to work."
Zarkasih's eyes well up as he speaks about his son's death.
PHOTO: Faris' dad Zarkasih grieves for his son who was killed by diphtheria. (ABC News: Adam Harvey)
Faris' mum Aitkah said "I still hear his voice".
"The house feels so empty now."
Faris was killed by an infectious disease, diphtheria, that was once a major problem in Australia but has all but disappeared, thanks to vaccinations.
Indonesia's been hit by a diphtheria outbreak that's infected hundreds and killed 44 people.
Atikah cries as she talks about her son Faris, who was killed by diphtheria.
PHOTO: Atikah's son Faris was one of 44 killed by diphtheria in Indonesia. (ABC News: Adam Harvey)
Now, a vaccination campaign against diphtheria in Indonesia is being undermined by alternative health practitioners and some hardline Muslim clerics who claim immunisations are un-Islamic.
One of their justifications is that vaccinations are developed using products from "haram" animals like pigs and dogs.
One of the leading anti-vax campaigners is Dewi Hestyawati, who calls herself a Holistic Islam Health Activist.
She says diseases like diphtheria and polio can be warded off and treated with diet and alternative therapies.
"The Prophet shows us that immunisation should come from the regular daily consumption of healthy substances : honey, herbs, olive oil; dates and goat's milk. If we don't follow that, we can be easily infected with diseases," she said.
Around five new cases of diphtheria are being reported each day.
Dewi says 'cupping' could combat outbreak
Dewi said the diphtheria outbreak could be combatted with a treatment offered at her clinic.
"Cupping" is a form of suction therapy that supposedly draws toxins out of patient's body.
"Let's bring the diphtheria patients in for cupping treatment," she said.
"Get us involved to fight the diphtheria outbreak.
"I am not convinced that the diseases can be prevented with vaccination, most of the case the vaccines are doing harm to them, that is a fact."
Dewi Hestyawati sits on the floor and speaks into a microphone.
PHOTO: Anti-vaxxer Dewi Hestyawati says infectious diseases can be warded off with diet and alternative therapies. (ABC News: Adam Harvey)
She's sceptical about the cause of the diphtheria outbreak.
"We should investigate where it comes from, as many planes flying over us are spraying viruses, so people get sick," she said.
Dewi spreads her message in her book "Vaccination Side Effects" and at seminars at her clinic.
When the ABC visited there were a dozen women and children attending the clinic.
One young couple brought in their month-old baby daughter for treatment. Baby Alana was vaccinated in hospital without the parents' permission, according to her father Sasmita Bachtiar.
"It is un-Islamic to involve pig, dog or monkey organs in vaccine production. I think things which are Halal and best for my children," he said.
A man lays on his stomach as suction cups are stuck to his back.
PHOTO: Anti-vaxxers believe cupping therapy could be the answer to preventing diphtheria outbreak. (ABC News: Adam Harvey)
Dewi prescribes suction therapy for the baby to "reverse" the effect of the vaccination.
Dewi said she would not be held responsible if any of the children fell ill with a vaccine-preventable disease.
"What should I be responsible for? I can't, as my responsibility is to God," she said.
"I don't need to be responsible for anything because it is their choice to maintain their health with the Islamic way.
"I find that question funny, because it's God's decision to choose who gets what disease. It's God's will — our lives are in God's hands."
I guess one avenue of discussion is, can we make vaccines in such a way they aren't haram to Islam? Should we expend the resources to do so, or try and simply get enough Muslims vaccinated so herd immunity kicks in? The advantage of this is, once we eliminate the disease we don't need to vaccinate again for that disease.