This is a follow up to the thread "Medical quackery in the US upsets me very, very much". The aim of this current thread is to take up the discussion on medical quackery (widening the scope since the US isn't the only country concerned), discuss news item pertaining to it and the potential responses to address it.
The definition of medical quackery is not up for debate and includes, among others, homeopathy, vaccine skepticism, naturopathy, crystal healing, psychic healing.
I was going to post in the old thread, but hey! New D&D section!
Came across this news item this week and it just breaks my heart:
European region most skeptical in the world on vaccine safety
Largest ever global survey of vaccine confidence maps attitudes across 67 countries
The new study, published in EBioMedicine, is led by researchers from the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, together with co-authors at Imperial College London and the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore.
Nearly 66,000 people were surveyed across 67 countries to discover their views on whether vaccines are important, safe, effective, and compatible with their religious beliefs.
Although overall sentiment towards vaccines was positive across the countries surveyed, the researchers found significant variation in attitudes around the world.
The European region had seven of the ten countries in the global sample that were the least confident in vaccine safety (France, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Armenia and Slovenia). France was the country least confident in safety, with 41% of those surveyed disagreeing that vaccines are safe, more than three times the global average of 12%. France was followed by Bosnia & Herzegovina (36%), Russia (28%) and Mongolia (27%), with Greece, Japan and Ukraine not far behind (25%).
The Southeast Asian region was most confident in vaccine safety across countries, including Bangladesh (fewer than 1% did not think vaccines are safe), Indonesia (3%) and Thailand (6%).
The authors say the negative attitudes in France may come as a result of a number of controversies in the country over the past two decades, including controversy over suspected side effects of the Hepatitis B and HPV vaccines, and hesitancy among a significant proportion of GPs as to the usefulness of some vaccines.
I weep for my fellow countrymen. I knew there was skepticism in France, but I didn't know we'd come out ahead (or behind, rather...). I can confirm that there have been controversies lately, namely on the supposed link between the hepatitis B vaccine and multiple sclerosis, and there was a couple of "increased fatigue" cases in young girls when the HPV vaccines came out. The courts threw the cases out.
And then there was the H1N1 vaccine debacle when our Minister of Health ordered 50 million vaccines "just in case" and people were incensed, because how dare the government force people to get vaccinated.
In keeping with the thread's scope, here's what we currently have in place, safeguard to stem the tide of obscurantism. All children admitted in public daycare (which is the vast, vast majority of daycares) MUST have had their vaccinations as required by the government: diphteria, tetanos, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, haemophilus influenzae, at the very, very least.
There have been very, very few cases of doctors falsifying records, but the last time a pediatrician got caught, he lost his license. Aside from forcing people to get vaccinated, we have to keep doing what we do: explain how important this is.