Some 86 percent of measles cases in the country have been recorded in Istanbul, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said, reiterating that though the number of cases is increasing, it is not at an epidemic level.
“There is no epidemic situation, it is under control. In addition, filiation studies are carried out extremely strictly,” Koca said at a press conference after a cabinet meeting.
Pointing out the increase in measles cases in many parts of the world due to the growing migration movement, Koca called on parents to adhere to the vaccination schedule for their children and get three doses of the measles vaccine.
“We know that measles is increasing in many countries due to migration. We also have cases, mainly in Istanbul. Some 86 percent of the cases are in Istanbul. The three-dose vaccine is important during this period. The first two doses should be administered at 9 and 12 months, and the third dose at the age of 4.”
Responding to allegations regarding Syrian healthcare workers employed in Türkiye, Koca noted that Syrian healthcare professionals are employed in the country in migrant health centers, with their salaries being covered by the European Union funds.
He also added that foreign doctors in Türkiye undergo a separate training before being able to practice.
“The expenses of migrant health centers are covered by European Union funds, and these centers only serve foreigners, predominantly Syrians. We provide temporary contract employment for those workers, whom we select from Syrian citizens after they undergo training. We pay their salaries using EU funds. In other words, there is no question of paying any fees to any Syrian doctor or nurse from the resources of Türkiye. Moreover, by employing healthcare workers from Syria and providing healthcare services to migrants, we alleviate the burden on ourselves.”