Somali doctors in Minnesota held a meeting in Minneapolis on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 to talk about the recent measles outbreak.
This educational and awareness event hosted by Briva Health and Twincare Dental allowed parents and community members to ask measles related questions. The Somali doctors who participated the event made themselves available to answer questions from parents and members of the Somali community about measles, and addressed community members’ concerns about vaccinations, autism as well as what the community could do to protect themselves and their families.
The Minnesota Health Department reports 69 confirmed cases of measles in the state, including 65 involving people who were never vaccinated. Health officials say many of those cases also involve members of the Somali American community.
Even in the midst of the measles outbreak and the fact many of these cases involving members of the Somali community, resistance to vaccination remains strong in the Somali community. Some of the Somali parents who attended the event expressed concerns and the connection between MMR vaccines and autism.
The Somali doctors who spoke at the event shared and spoke about the extensive researches that disproved any relationship between vaccines and autism. Dr. Osman Harare said, “We know there is a fear in the community, but these are unfounded autism fears and misinformation that are fueling the outbreak of this deadly disease in our community”.
Dr. Mahad Ururshe also informed the audience at the event how serious the measles disease is. Dr Ururshe estates, “Measles is one of the most contagious human diseases”.
This much needed informational event with the Somali doctors took place at the very popular Safari Restaurant and Event Center in Minneapolis. The doctors who spoke at the event included Dr. Abdirahman Madar, Dr. Sacdiyo Jama, Dr. Osman Harare, Dr. Mohamed Adan, Dr. Mohamud D. Afgarshe, Dr. Mahad Ururshe and RN Adna Gaata.