In this pandemic period, especially in order to support vaccination, we ask all clients who call the line about the vaccination status of individuals living in the household and whether they need support for vaccination appointments. We get their opinions on vaccines and explain the importance of immunization with vaccines to prevent epidemics and diseases. Vaccine immunization is recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the most important and least costly community health interventions to prevent vaccine-preventable diseases and deaths from these diseases. Since the 1970s, many infectious diseases such as smallpox, polio, measles, diphtheria, and tetanus have decreased by at least 90% in the population thanks to widespread vaccination efforts.
40% of the clients we spoke to in March, April, May and June reported that they had been vaccinated, made an appointment to be or wanted to be. We support our clients who want to be vaccinated but do not know where and how to make an appointment. We also provide remote translation support, if necessary, during hospital procedures. Although there is an increase in those who are vaccinated and those who want to be vaccinated from March to June, there is still a majority that stays away from the vaccine for different reasons.
Those who were not vaccinated stated reasons such as fear of the side effects of the vaccine, not needing it because they do not have any chronic disease, or fear of side effects because they do have chronic diseases, refraining from leaving the house and going to the hospital, being affected by the opposition to the vaccine in social media and their environment. We direct clients who are not vaccinated for any reason to the Ministry of Health website to obtain correct information. We share informational materials about vaccination in Arabic with clients who do not have sufficient knowledge of Turkish.
In June, there was an increase in the requests for appointments from the population directorate. Beneficiaries began to carry out their procedures in the public sector as the restrictions were gradually lifted. For this reason, we observed a density especially in population appointment requests. Due to the fact that more than 75% of people were not let inside in accordance with the COVID-19 measures and the system did not give an appointment, they had difficulty getting an appointment from the population directorate for address registration and newborn registration. We continue to support our clients on these issues.
At the Mavi Kalem Consultation Line, we provide free support for health, legal, education and basic needs from all over Turkey. There are informative content that clients can listen to when they call outside of working hours. With these contents related to COVID-19 and children’s rights, we aim to provide accurate information services to clients that we could not immediately respond to. For these information, there are both Turkish and Arabic language options, as in the consultation service.