Saturday, January 28, 2023

Varoliation: The Forerunner of Vaccination Comes from the Ottoman Caliphate

Until now, the debate about whether or not a Muslim can be vaccinated is still ongoing. But did you know that the forerunner of vaccination dates back to before the Ottoman Empire?

Before Edward Jenner introduced the term ‘vaccination’ in 1796 in his quest for a smallpox (a type of smallpox) vaccine, Sudan and Turkey had similar concepts. her name variolation. To understand how it works, let’s take a look at the history of the invention of this method.

In Indonesia, smallpox is only known as chickenpox (chickenpox), when in fact there are many kinds of smallpox. One of the oldest and very rare cases is smallpox, which is caused by a virus Variola major or Variola minor. Variola major is the more deadly kind.

Smallpox is one of the oldest diseases in the world, with one of the first cases dating back to the time of the Pharaohs. Ramses V is thought to have died from the disease. WHO declared smallpox extinct in 1980, with the last natural case being Ali Maow Malin, a Somali chef in 1977 for Variola minor while case Variola major The last natural occurrence happened to a little girl from Bangladesh in 1975.

The practice spread in Turkey through the Seljuks, which doctors continued to practice during the Ottoman Empire. It was a Turkish doctor who introduced this method to Europeans. Emmanuel Timonius was a Turkish physician of Greek descent who worked for the Sultanate in the early 18th century. In 1701 when the Sultanate was hit by a smallpox epidemic, this doctor used the variolation method to help reduce the number of sufferers of the disease. He then wrote a book in Latin in 1713 on this method, which was later published in London and Leipzig. Smallpox itself became a pandemic in Europe in the 7th century, and has continued to haunt the world since then. But in the 1500s, China had its own method of curing smallpox, called inoculation. The trick is to take a little dry skin from the wound of a smallpox sufferer, which is then blown into the nose of the ‘variated’ person. The person will experience mild symptoms of smallpox, but it can still be treated. This practice is not one hundred percent safe, but in areas where this method is practiced, no patient has had smallpox twice, so the number of smallpox sufferers can be reduced.

This method became a ‘trend’ in Europe after Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, wife of the British Ambassador to Turkey in the 18th century. Unlike the typical ambassadorial wife who just stays at home, Lady Montagu likes to walk around and observe her surroundings.

Lady Montagu was amazed when she witnessed the practice of variolation performed by a woman on four to five patients. Lady Montagu’s older brother himself died from smallpox, so this method was of great interest to him. Enthusiastically, Lady Montagu wrote to her friend Sarah Chiswell (who ironically died of smallpox 9 years later) in England about the methods she witnessed in Constantinople. But people in England were not as enthusiastic about the method, not because it was considered dangerous, but because it came from a non-white nation, and because it was a woman who presented it.

In 1718, Lady Montagu ordered embassy doctors to perform the method on her 5-year-old son. Three years later, on her return from Turkey, Lady Montagu ordered the same method to be performed on her 4-year-old daughter, making it the first variolation practice on European soil.

Through word of mouth, this method spread throughout England, until it reached the ears of the royal family. Charles Maitland, Lady Montagu’s physician, was given the opportunity to variolate prisoners in Newgate Prison on August 9, 1721. These prisoners who became ‘guinea pigs’ were granted special remission: if they recovered, they would be released. As a result, all prisoners who became Maitland’s patients recovered completely and finally got out of prison.

This method is effective, but not one hundred percent safe. On the other hand, for the next 70 years, until Edward Jenner discovered the smallpox vaccine, this method will be very helpful in reducing the number of smallpox mortality rates.

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