Did you know that the Yoruks of Anatolia first found protection against smallpox? This method saved all of Europe

Did you know that the Yoruks of Anatolia first found protection against smallpox?  This method saved all of Europe


Webtekno Prof. Dr. According to the information he received from Miracle Ünlü and PhD Zarife Albayrak; There were many famous doctors such as Akşemseddin, Sabuncuoğlu Şerefeddin and Ahi Mehmed Çelebi who lived in the Ottoman Empire. Thanks to these important doctors, the Ottoman Empire was a state capable of taking action on its own during many epidemics, including cholera and smallpox, and healing the world from time to time.

Today with you we will talk about various issues such as smallpox, the vaccination process and people’s reaction to the Ottoman era.

Origin of smallpox

Smallpox first appeared in Africa around 10,000 BC. Various sources claim that smallpox can be traced even further, with detailed historical research.

Description of smallpox among the Turks

The people of the Sakha Republic, which is an autonomous administration under the Russian Federation, were conquered by the Yakut Turks. “a Russian woman with red hair and a red dress” smallpox described as; “It’s such a disgusting disease; In the afterlife, the soul will refuse to return to the body. He was also exposed to serious descriptions such as

Smallpox in the Ottoman Empire

According to many sources, smallpox first appeared in the Ottoman Empire in the second half of the 19th century. “in epidemic” starts to appear. Many people die with the onset of the disease. Survivors, on the other hand, could go blind or have various scars on their bodies until they died.

Among those who caught smallpox, Ahmed I, III. There were names such as Ahmed, Abdülmecid, Şehzade Mehmet Nusret and even Fatma Sultan, the daughter of Abdulhamit I, who died of smallpox.

Treatment of smallpox in the Ottoman Empire

Smallpox in the Ottoman Empire was first officially described in 1801 by a medical book published by Chief Physician Mustafa Behçet Efendi. According to the sources, a method called poxing was developed due to the increase in deaths in the Ottoman Empire and the lack of a vaccine at the moment.

According to History-i Cevdet, this method was developed by Anatolian Yoruks and they were brought to Istanbul in order to control the epidemic. The flowering method was also applied in 1630 by the inoculationist doctor Ali Çelebi.

Flowering and grafting method

In the bloom method, the clothes of people who have had mild illness are dressed for children who have not yet had the disease, and while children should acquire immunity; a more modern method was followed for grafting.

According to what is written in the Eastern Letters of Lady Montagu, the wife of Doctor Emanuel Timonius and the British Ambassador in Istanbul, Edward Montagu;

“At the end of the summer, children who have not yet contracted smallpox are injected with flower yeast, which is preserved in nut shells and taken from various animals, by opening a vein in the arm, and the area is covered with a walnut shell. In this way, the child is vaccinated in 3 different places. Since there would be scars in the area, the graft was usually applied to the invisible parts of the body. One week after vaccination, the child had developed up to 30 harmless pimples on his face, and the child would have been free from scarring, blindness and death.The same method could be used with dried hazelnut shells and l rose water, but this method had to be repeated every 2 years.

Lady Montagu’s work saved Europe from death

As Europe was stricken with smallpox; On Lady Montagu’s work, many Britons, including the British heir’s son, were protected from smallpox by Turkish-style vaccination. Until the discovery of modern vaccination in 1796, all of Europe used the Ottoman method.

Vaccine mobility in the Ottoman Empire

Vaccination was of great importance in the Ottoman Empire, especially since the sultans also suffered from smallpox and there was a serious epidemic. Children, in particular, were vaccinated 3 times until the age of 19. The first vaccination was carried out within 6 months of birth, while the other vaccinations were carried out between 7 years and 15-19 years.

Families who failed to have their children vaccinated or had their children vaccinated were fined 1 mecidiye as a warning. Larger fines were imposed if the vaccination was not carried out despite the warning. In addition, applications such as mobile doctors and vaccination stations have been launched so that the public can be vaccinated more quickly.

Anti-vaccination all the time

As is the case today, there have always been anti-vaccine naysayers and the Ottomans also had problems in this regard. Especially the ignorant mass, “Quarantine is not allowed, the vaccine found by non-Muslims will not cure us, the vaccine is forbidden, it breaks the faith” Such superstitions were prevented by the fatwas pronounced by Şeyhülislam Mekkizade Asım Efendi, and they focused on speeding up vaccination.

Especially in Erzurum and its surroundings, there were many groups resisting the doctors who wanted to do the duty of vaccination. In fact, each vaccination team was accompanied by security forces because of the violence against the doctors.

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