Healthcare cuts have hurt in Stamford Hill

As a childrens doctor, I have seen children and families affected by serious diseases which are preventable, and it's heartbreaking.

January 10, 2017 10:47

Infectious diseases don’t distinguish between religious or secular, Jew or non-Jew. The worry which health and community leaders have is that those in any setting who do not vaccinate or delay vaccinations for their children not only put their own children at risk, they also put at risk those who are too young to be vaccinated or who have medical reasons which mean that they can’t be.

Prevention is clearly better than cure which is why vaccination is such an important measure. All UK babies are offered protection from eight weeks of age to protect against diseases, including whooping cough, polio, tetanus and meningitis. Protection against measles, mumps and rubella is offered after a year of age.

Vaccines are safe and effective and have been proven to be so over and over again. Their impact on improving health has been so enormous that the majority of people in this country have never seen the devastating consequences of these diseases.

The low vaccination rates in Stamford Hill would be even lower were it not for the efforts made over several years by community outreach nurses, local public health departments, GPs, health visitors and paediatricians.

The situation has become more difficult in recent years due to big budget cuts to public health departments and due to the reorganisation of vaccination services at a national level.

These two factors mean there is less funding and less co-ordination to meet the needs of this community. Despite or because of this, there has been a big concerted effort by the Charedi health forum, the Jewish Medical Association, local GPs, public health workers and paediatricians to address the problem together.

There remains a risk when parents, worried by stories on the internet, choose not to vaccinate. It is always worth discussing any worries with your doctor or health visitor.


Dr Tammy Rothenberg is a consultant paediatrician at Homerton Hospital

January 10, 2017 10:47

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive