The horrific trend of the anti-vaccine movement in Turkey

Vaccination 2018____

(UN News, 2017)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms. Erva Nur Çınar, a 5th year medical student and human rights activist, currently studying at Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Vaccines are one of the most important measures of preventative medicine toprotect the population from diseases and infections. They have contributed todecreasing rates of common childhood diseases and, in some cases, have evenwiped out some diseases that were common in years past, such as smallpox,rinderpest, and have nearly eradicated malaria and polio.

Fear of vaccines and myths against them are not a new phenomenon. Opposition to vaccines goes as far back as the 18th century when, for example, Reverend Edmund Massey in England called the vaccines “diabolical operations” in his 1772 sermon, “The Dangerous and Sinful Practice of Inoculation”. While pushback against the measles vaccine due to fears of its connection to autism is the most recent example that comes to mind, there have been other instances of outbreaks of previously “extinct” diseases in modern times.

In Turkey, from 2013, unfortunately, we are observing an increase in the number of anti-vaccine groups, which are causing confusion in people’s minds and affecting people’s health through wrong information. Parents are coming together through a platform called ‘I don’t have to vaccine my child’.

Access to medical information online has dramatically changed the dynamics of the healthcare industry and patient-physician interactions. Medical knowledge that was previously bound to textbooks and journals, or held primarily by medical professionals, is now accessible to the layman, which has shifted the power from doctors as exclusive managers of a patient’s care to the patients themselves.

This has led to the recent establishment of shared decision-making between patients and healthcare physicians. While this is beneficial in some ways, the dissemination of false and misleading information found on the internet can also lead to negative consequences, such as parents not giving consent to having their children vaccinated. When it comes to vaccines, the false information is plentiful and easy to find.

According to the studies an analysis of YouTube videos about immunization found that 32% opposed vaccination and that these had higher ratings and more views than pro-vaccine videos. An analysis of MySpace blogs about HPV immunization found that 43% portrayed the immunization in a negative light; these blogs referenced vaccine-critical organizations and cited inaccurate data.

The number of families that have refused to have their children vaccinated increased to 23,000 last year from 11,000 in 2016 in Turkey. The Ministry of Health and World Health Organization warned that if vaccination is interrupted, up to 14,000 children may lose their lives each year because of preventable diseases. They are also saying parents could have their children vaccinated against 13 types of diseases, including mumps, diphtheria, chin cough, polio, meningitis and German measles, at public health clinics free of charge.

Ensuring high immunization coverage and expanding vaccine access to those who are being missed are crucial parts of universal health coverage. Vaccines prevent a number of diseases, such as rotavirus, measles, rubella, poliomyelitis, whooping cough, hepatitis B and human papillomavirus. They also contribute to realizing national priorities linked to education and economic development, and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

References:

Hussain, A., Syed, A., Ahmed, M., Hussain, S. (2018). The Anti-vaccination Movement: A Regression in Modern Medicine, Cureus, 10(7): e2919.

http://www.euro.who.int/en/about-us/patron/news/news/2018/4/european-immunization-week-vaccination-is-a-right-and-responsibility-for-all

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-health-ministry-takes-action-amid-anti-vaccination-trend-among-parents-135645

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/who-warns-against-increasing-anti-vaccination-trend-in-turkey-132684

About the author

Erva Nur Çınar is 5th year medical student and human rights activist. Sheis currently studying at Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty. She is workingwith SDSN Youth as an SDG Coordinator and she is also working with UN-MajorGroup for Children and Youth (UNMGCY). She worked with International Federationof Medical Sudents’ Associations (IFMSA), Doctors Wihout Borders (MSF),Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM). She wantsto be a pediatrician in the future and she is defining herself as childrenrights activist. She is playing violine and making yoga, she likes travellingand reading.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Food safety critical to development and ending poverty: FAO deputy chief

Free flow of non-personal data: Parliament approves EU’s fifth freedom

Eurostat overturns Commission’s assessment of the economy

1 in 7 people would choose not to fly because of climate change

Here’s how tech is revolutionising transport for low-income communities in urban Africa

3 ways to fix the way we fund humanitarian relief

Debunked: 5 myths about the future of work

EU Parliament semi worried over democratic deficit

Mental health of health professionals: the alter ego

The battle for the 2016 EU Budget to shake the Union; Commission and Parliament vs. Germany

Robots will soon be a necessity but they won’t take all our jobs

The reason the world showed limited empathy to the Orlando victims

Germany resists Macron’s plan for closer and more cohesive Eurozone; Paris and Berlin at odds

Remembering Kofi Annan

Lack of basic water facilities risks millions of lives globally: UN health agency

How privacy tech is redefining the data economy

Recognize, celebrate and ‘stand in solidarity’ with persons with albinism

The hostilities in south and eastern Ukraine resume; where could they lead?

LEAGUE OF YOUNG VOTERS LAUNCHES TOOL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO COMPARE POLITICAL PARTIES AHEAD OF EU ELECTIONS

UN appeals for international support as flood waters rise in wake of second Mozambique cyclone

90% of plastic polluting our oceans comes from just 10 rivers

The European Sting writes down the history LIVE from G20 Leaders’ Summit in Turkey

‘No-deal’ Brexit preparedness: European Commission takes stock of preparations and provides practical guidance to ensure coordinated EU approach

Ercom, cutting-edge Telco solutions from Europe

The Fourth Industrial Revolution must not leave farming behind

Mosul’s ‘3D contamination’ adds to challenges of deadly mine clearance work

Ship Recycling is the Commission’s Titanic

UN refugee agency presses States to aid 49 refugees stranded on Mediterranean

COP22 addresses a strong global pledge to effectively implement the Paris Agreement

EU is not only obsessed with Facebook but also blaims now innocent websites using social plugins to serve democratic dialogues?

Africa Forum aims to boost business, reduce costs, help countries trade out of poverty

EU revengefully shows no mercy to Cameron by demanding a fast and sloppy Brexit now

China is a renewable energy champion. But it’s time for a new approach

Alarming number of Ebola deaths in DRC a ‘rallying cry’ to scale up treatment

Parliament to ask for the suspension of EU-US deal on bank data

Europe plans to send satellites into space to monitor CO2 emissions

We are ‘burning up our future’, UN’s Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Greece did it again

It’s time for global businesses to accept local responsibility

Belgium: Youth Forum takes legal step to ban unpaid internships

CO2 can be a valuable raw material, not just a climate killer. Here’s how

The US calls off globalization, targets Germany. Paris offer to Berlin comes at a cost

‘Once-in-a-generation opportunity’ will be squandered, warns Guterres, unless social, economic, environmental challenges are met

Assembly of European Regions @ European Business Summit 2014: Made in Europe – Made of Regions

Humans aren’t made for repetition – it’s time AI took over manufacturing

Are e-cigarettes as safe as they claim to be?

Boat made of recycled plastic and flip-flops inspires fight for cleaner seas along African coast

Cyclone Idai: emergency getting ‘bigger by the hour’, warns UN food agency

OECD Secretary-General Gurría welcomes announcement of new trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada

Rule of law in Hungary: Parliament should ask Council to act, say committee MEPs

Implementation of tax transparency initiative delivering concrete and impressive results

UN civil society conference to focus on sustainable solutions for challenges of urban life

State aid: Commission approves €431 million public support for cleaner transport in German cities

OECD, UN Environment and World Bank call for a radical shift in financing for a low-carbon, climate-resilient future

Why schools should teach the curriculum of the future, not the past

Brussels to tear down the trade wall with Mexico as opposed to Trump’s “walls”

Shanghai has tough new recycling rules – and it will stop collecting trash from communities that don’t comply

8000 young people in the EP in Strasbourg: “a breath of fresh air for EU democracy”

Is Erdogan losing game and match within and without Turkey?

This tiny new grain could save the planet

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s