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

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

Adjust UN force in Abyei to current realities, peacekeeping chief urges Security Council

Commission launches debate on a gradual transition to more efficient and democratic decision-making in EU tax policy

YO!Fest back in Strasbourg for the 2nd edition of the European Youth Event – 20-21 May 2016

UN chief praises Malaysia’s death penalty repeal as ‘major step forward’

Deutsche Bank slammed by the US-based trio of IMF, Fed and Moody’s

‘Score a goal’ for humanity, says Mohammed, celebrating winning link between sport and development

PM May fosters chauvinism, declares trade war on Europe

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, who gets it and who pays the bill?

‘Path to peace’ on Korean Peninsula only possible through diplomacy and full denuclearization: US tells Security Council

Independent UN rights expert calls for compassion, not sanctions on Venezuela

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

German stock market is not affected by the Greek debt revolution while Athens is running out of time

Alarm over violent attacks on lawmakers, opposition in Malawi, ahead of elections

FROM THE FIELD: Persons with disabilities bike towards sustainability

‘Everyone must be on board’ for peace in Central African Republic: UN’s Lacroix

‘Health is a right, not a privilege’ says WHO chief on World Health Day

In Marrakech, UN chief urges world leaders to ‘breathe life’ into historic global migration pact

Is your business model fit for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Biggest London City Banks ready to move core European operations to Frankfurt or Dublin?

5 leadership lessons I learned from doing my own ‘undercover boss’

European Business Summit 2014: The role of youth entrepreneurship education in EU’s Strategy for Competitiveness

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

On Youth Education: “Just a normal day in the life of a medical student”

EU Parliament: A catastrophic crisis management by European leaders

The deforestation risks lurking in the banking sector

EU and India re-open talks over strategic partnership while prepare for a Free Trade Agreement

EU Visa Policy: Commission welcomes agreement to strengthen EU visa rules

The race for Driverless vehicles: where is the industry heading?

Trump’s trade wars: Aiming at long term gains for America

EU Emissions Trading System does not hurt firms’ profitability

What happens when the Eurogroup decides to help Greece

UN affirms ‘historic’ global compact to support world’s refugees

‘No steps taken’ so far to end Israel’s illegal settlement activity on Palestinian land – UN envoy

Can the US-Iran rapprochement change the world?

Office workers in these economies clock up the most extra hours

Towards a seamless internal EU market for industrial goods

Global Compact on Refugees: How is this different from the migrants’ pact and how will it help?

Medical Doctors in Industry 4.0: pure science fiction

3 lessons from India in creating equal access to vaccines

3 reasons why AI won’t replace human translators… yet

IMF: Sorry Greece, Ireland, Portugal we were wrong!

The DNA of the future retail CEO

General Assembly officially adopts roadmap for migrants to improve safety, ease suffering

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

5 charts that explain big challenges facing Italy’s new government

Spending on health increase faster than rest of global economy, UN health agency says

Greece: The new government of Alexis Tsipras shows its colors

MEPs to vote on overhaul of road transport rules in July

The European Parliament hemicycle in Strasbourg (Copyright: European Union, 2017 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Mauro Bottaro)

EU Parliament sends controversial copyright law reform back to discussion

Commission and ECB prepare new financial mega-tool in support of SMEs

Mali facing ‘alarming’ rise in rights violations, warns UN expert

Britain heading to national schism on exit from EU

A Sting Exclusive: “Sustainable development goals: what role for business?” Commissioner Mimica asks live from European Business Summit 2015

MWC 2016 LIVE: BlackBerry acquires Encription, talks Microsoft and health

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: UNESCO ready to help after Notre Dame fire, and updates on Libya, Nicaragua, and the Cyclone Idai response

Congolese expelled from Angola returning to ‘desperate situation’: UN refugee agency

Better housing means better health and well-being, stress new WHO guidelines

Planet’s Health is Our Health and the Reverse is True

More hiring freedom can reduce teacher shortages in disadvantaged areas

EU sets ambitious targets for the Warsaw climate conference

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