Thursday September 19, 2019

Social Media Propagating False Information On Vaccination

Education on vaccines in schools should be increased and improved.

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Social media marketing now represents a full-time job.

Negative messages about vaccines propagated on the social media are acting as the main barrier to vaccinations, a report from the UK-based charity Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has revealed.

The report, titled “Moving the Needle”, identified two in five (41 per cent) parents, saying they are often or sometimes exposed to negative messages about vaccines on social media.

This increased to as many as one in two (50 per cent) among parents with children under five years old.

Traditional media, on the other hand, continued to be influential, and was highlighted by healthcare professionals as impacting the public’s views on vaccines.

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It suggested that efforts to limit health misinformation online and via social media should be increased, especially by social media platforms themselves. VOA

The fear of side effects of vaccines was found to be the primary reason for choosing not to vaccinate, while lack of confidence in the effectiveness of the vaccine was the key reason for parents choosing not to vaccinate their children against flu, the report said.

“Fear and misinformation about vaccines can cause significant damage to seemingly stable vaccination programmes,” said RSPH Chief Executive Shirley Cramer.

“With the dawn of social media, information – and misinformation – about vaccines can spread further and faster than ever before and this may, unfortunately, be advantageous for anti-vaccination groups,” Cramer added.

The report also called for social media platforms and the press to do more to combat “fake news” as millions of lives have been saved through vaccination, and side effects are rare.

Fake News, EU
With the dawn of social media, information – and misinformation – about vaccines can spread further and faster than ever before and this may, unfortunately, be advantageous for anti-vaccination groups,” Cramer added.. Flickr Common

It suggested that efforts to limit health misinformation online and via social media should be increased, especially by social media platforms themselves.

Education on vaccines in schools should be increased and improved.

Access to vaccinations must be improved and it should be offered in a more diverse range of locations, including high street pop-ups, utilising the wider public health workforce.

Also Read: Risk Of Heart Disease May Increase Due To Pregnancy: Study

The report is based on the findings of surveys of nearly 5,000 people across the UK on their awareness and attitudes towards vaccines, such as MMR, the flu jab and HPV.

They include 2,600 parents, 2,000 other adults and more than 200 healthcare professionals, such as nurses, pharmacists and general practitioners. (IANS)

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WHO Calling for Urgent Action to End Bad Health Care Practices Responsible for Killing Millions of Patients

WHO issued a report in advance of the first World Patient Safety Day on September 17

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Intravenous bags hang above young cancer patients at Rady's Children Hospital in San Diego, California, Sept. 4, 2019. VOA

The World Health Organization is calling for urgent action to end bad health care practices responsible for killing millions of patients around the world every year.  WHO issued a report in advance of the first World Patient Safety Day on September 17.

People who fall ill go to their doctor or sign themselves into a hospital in the expectation of receiving treatment that will cure them. Unfortunately, in many cases the treatment they receive will kill them

The World Health Organization reports one in 10 patients is harmed in high-income countries. It says 134 million patients in low-and-middle-income countries are harmed because of unsafe care leading to 2.6 million deaths annually. WHO notes most of these deaths are avoidable.

Neelam Dhingra-Kuram is WHO coordinator of Patient Safety and Risk Management. She said harm occurs mainly because of wrong diagnosis, wrong prescriptions, the improper use of medication, incorrect surgical procedures and health care associated infections.

WHO, Health Care, Patients
The World Health Organization is calling for urgent action to end bad health care practices responsible for killing millions of patients around the world every year. Pixabay

“But the major reason for this harm is that in the health care facilities, in the system there is lack of patient safety culture. And, that means that the leadership is not strong enough…So, lack of open communication, lack of systems to learn from mistakes and errors. So, already suppose errors are happening and harm is taking place. If you do not learn from it, it is really a lost opportunity,” she said.

Dhingra-Kuram said systems must be created where health care workers are encouraged to report mistakes and are not fearful of being blamed for reporting errors.

Besides the avoidable and tragic loss of life, WHO reports patient harm leads to economic losses of trillions of dollars globally each year. It says medication errors alone cost an estimated $42 billion annually.

Also Read- New York Government Pushing to Enact Statewide Ban on Sale of Flavored E-Cigarettes

On the other hand, WHO says a study in the United States finds safety improvement in patient care has resulted in estimated savings of $28 billion in Medicare hospitals between 2010 and 2015. (VOA)