Why we Immunise

Clem Boughton
MJA Insight Monday, 19 May, 2014
In medicine, often one picture can be more convincing than a thousand words.
How many members of our community, let alone doctors, have seen a 12-year-old boy in a tetanic spasm, with his body arched back? He is in excruciating agony from vicious cramps in all his muscles, but cannot call out because he can’t breathe.
In the recent past, with the collaboration of infectious diseases colleagues, colour slides and video recordings of such diseases were made, especially for teaching medical, paramedical and nursing undergraduates, as well as for doctors in practice who may not have seen some of these conditions as undergraduates.
These recordings were retained to ensure medical professionals and the community were kept informed, as control of these diseases could lead to complacency in the community.
This complacency is happening now. Added to this is the problem that doctors are graduating without being able to recognise some of these diseases, such as measles, and we have an active anti-immunisation lobby opposing vaccination.
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