Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Dr. Fazıl Küçük Medicine Faculty and Nicosia Dr. Burhan Nalbantoğlu State Hospital operating under the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Ministry of Health organized a joint symposium with the slogan “Right to Health” within the scope of 1 December World AIDS Day.
The seminars on the fundamental information, clinical approaches and treatment of HIV/AIDS were delivered by Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology experts Dr. Emre Vudalı, Dr. Zafer Erdoğmuş and Dr. Nesil Bayraktar. Envision Diversity Association representatives Enver Ethemer and Okan Bullici also commented on the data obtained from their field work in the TRNC and important messages using a social perspective.
In addition to the symposium, EMU students participated in a walk to raise awareness for the 1 December World AIDS Day. Gathering at the EMU Atatürk Square at 16:00 on Friday the 1st of December 2017, EMU students carried colourful signs and shouted slogans with the aim of raising awareness about AIDS, measures that need to be taken and access to free treatment. Before the walk commenced EMU Dr. Fazıl Küçük Medicine Faculty Dean Prof. Dr. Nahide Gökçora spoke to the press about the 1 December World AIDS Day activities.
“Early Diagnosis Saves Lives”
Prof. Dr. Gökçora drew attention to the HIV infection being an important epidemic: “According to last year’s data, to this day AIDS has led to the demise of 34 million people and it is estimated that the HIV virus is carried by 36.7 million people today. Last year more than a million pregnant HIV carriers received treatment in order to protect their babies. HIV is a menace to society but protection from the virus is very easy. Preventative medicine and raising awareness can prevent HIV infection. What we want to do is raise communal awareness about protection from infection whilst also affecting politicians to set aside a budget that will lead to cheaper and quicker treatment after early diagnosis.”
Drawing attention to the fact that like with all health problems early diagnosis of AIDS saves lives Prof. Dr. Gökçora stated: “With early diagnosis and active treatment, patients can live a normal life. We want to explain that all people deserve the right of health without discrimination and that HIV can only be combated with active, cheap and accessible treatment. Because of information pollution, the internet is not an accurate source. With our sociological and scientific approach put together with the Dr. Burhan Nalbantoğlu Hospital we aim for our students, in other words the doctors of the future, to provide early diagnosis of AIDS as well as better treatment wherever they go. After Prof. Dr. Gökçora’s statement EMU Dr. Fazıl Küçük Medicine Faculty students and members of academic staff walked from the Atatürk Square to the main entrance of the university.