Global Public Health Campaigns on Twitter: Turkey
There are limited insights into public health campaigns that have run on Twitter in the past eight months (and even eighteen months) in Turkey. Some public health campaigns that have run on Twitter in Turkey include the Ministry of Health's "Anti[-]Smoking Campaign," the Move for Health Campaign, and the Reducing Portion Sizes Campaign.
- The Ministry of Health in Turkey announced the launch of a "new anti-smoking campaign" by the Turkish government in 2019. The anti-smoking campaign helps citizens experiencing an anti-addiction struggle.
- Turkey's Anti-Smoking Campaign launched in 2019 was characterized by determined efforts to reduce drug and alcohol addiction via the establishment of modern medical centers as well as facilities that enable "social adoption of addicted persons." The social adoption program of the campaign targets individuals whose addiction problems might get cured successfully to prevent them from returning to drug, alcohol, or tobacco consumption.
- The campaign promoted by Turkey's "Ministry of Health" and other government agencies combines a rehabilitation process with the treatment of addiction and has two facilities. One of the rehabilitation and treatment facility was planned for set up in the Erenköy district of Istanbul, while the other in Tuzla. The campaign became necessary after the number of smokers in Turkey increased to 44% among men and 19% among women within a few years.
- Smoking is a public health challenge in Turkey. Smokers in the country have experienced lung cancer, which is the most common as well as the deadly consequence of smoking. Smokers are 10 to 15 times more likely to suffer from lung cancer when compared to non-smokers. However, this risk of contracting lung cancer reduces when someone quits smoking and reaches a negligible level (zero) in 15 years.
- Turkey's government agencies like the Ministry of Health, Ministry of National Education, and several other NGOs (like the Turkish Green Crescent Society) have promoted the Anti-Smoking Campaign on Twitter via the use of pictures. In December 2018 (less than eighteen months ago), Turkey's Ministry of National Education collaborated with the Turkish Green Crescent Society to promote the new anti-smoking campaign of the Ministry of Health using #betNCDS, and the #EnoughNCDS hashtags on Twitter.
- Professor Toker Ergüder authored one of the most recent tweets that promote the Ministry of National Education anti-smoking campaign in collaboration with the Turkish Green Crescent Society. Professor Toker Ergüder is a staff of WHO and heads Turkey's "Non[-]Communicable Diseases program." He is also an advocate of Turkey's Anti-Smoking Campaign.
- The Turkish Green Crescent Society is a non-governmental organization in Turkey that is also promoting the Anti-Smoking Campaign.
- Although the most recent Twitter posts activities relevant to Turkey's Anti-Smoking Campaign are older than eight months but less than eighteen months, an article published on February 25, 2020 (two months ago) by Vital Strategies reveals that the campaign is still running.
Move for Health
- According to Daily Sabah, one public health campaign that has run within the past eight months in Turkey is the "Move for Health" Campaign. The campaign is a project of the Turkish government through the Healthy Nutrition and Active Life Program and the National Nutrition Council.
- Obesity is a public health challenge prevalent in Turkey. Since 2013, the country has engaged in campaigns to battle against obesity. Anti-obesity programs in Turkey include health promotion campaigns such as "Move for Health."
- An organization promoting the Move for Health Campaign on Twitter is Med Anatolia. In 2017, the organization promoted the campaign with the hashtags #health, #tourism, #medical, #Hairplantation, #spa, #Turkey, and #aesthetic. Med Anatolia is an organization focused on offering health and fitness services for Tourists in Turkey. The organization partners with a hospital in Istanbul, Turkey, to offer certain healthcare and wellness services to tourists.
- Med Anatolia has several communications on Twitter promoting move for health through exercise and engagements in "sport for a healthy life" using several hashtags that it associates with the Move for Health Campaign. Med Anatolia has associated itself with several activities within the last eighteen months on Twitter. However, this research cannot determine if its recent tweets (within the past eighteen months) relates to the Move for Health Campaign as they are in Turkish. They seem to relate to street activities (sports) but might have lost some context during translation.
Reducing Portion Sizes
- There are limited insights on public health campaigns that have run on Twitter within the past eight or even eighteen months on Twitter in Turkey. According to credible new resources, a public health campaign that has run within the past eighteen months in Turkey is the "Reducing Portion Sizes" Campaign. Reducing Portion Sizes is a project of the Turkish government that is implemented by the Healthy Nutrition and Active Life Program as well as the National Nutrition Council.
- The Reducing Portion Sizes Campaign tries to combat obesity, which is also a public health challenge in Turkey. About 56.7% of women from Turkey are overweight. This health challenge (obesity) makes Turkey have one of the worst records among European countries relative to the proportions of overweight as well as obese women.
- According to Mahmut Sahin, a professor with the Turkish Society of Cardiology, obesity is an "epidemic" ravaging Turkey. A high prevalence rate of coronary heart disease within Turkey is the consequence of obesity, among other factors.
- Turkey's campaign against obesity also leverages "new obesity centers," strategically located in hospitals spread across the country. This campaign promotes the admission of citizens that are obese to group therapy to help them change their lifestyle as well as nutritional habits. These obesity centers train people to reduce the portions of unhealthy snacks or obesity-inducing foods that they consume.
- Under this campaign, patients that cannot shed off weight on their own (by watching their diets) get admitted for medical treatment using acupuncture initially, then traditional therapies, and subsequently with surgery.
- Although the list of facilities participating in this campaign is not made public by Turkey's Ministry of Health, one health facility likely promoting the campaign on Twitter is the Anadolu Medical Center. The health facility uses a nutrition-centric approach to fight obesity through the reduction of cholesterol. High cholesterol level is the underlying risk factor of obesity.
- Anadolu Medical Center has several therapies and supporting pictures on Twitter on ways to combat obesity and heart diseases. According to the Johns Hopkins Medicine International Institute, Anadolu Medical Center is a specialty-focused medical care provider known to be "the best" in Turkey. Without disclosing the title of its campaigns, the health organization reveals that it has conducted several "awareness campaigns."
- In a tweet that is older than 18 months, Anadolu Medical Center instructs patients to eat more often (but smaller quantities or portions) to watch their weight. Obese people can shed off weight if they eat smaller portions of their meals four times a day. Anadolu Medical Center does not have Twitter posts that are less than eight or eighteen months old on Reducing Portion Size Campaign.
- The research has not established a direct link between the dated Anadolu Medical Center tweet and Reducing Portion Sizes Campaign. The tweet is in the research brief because there are limited insights on health campaigns that have run on Twitter in Turkey. The tweet aligns with the Reducing Portion Sizes Campaign because it advocates eating smaller portions about four times daily. Experts recommend that eating smaller meal sizes more regularly can help people combat obesity and diabetes.
- Anadolu Medical Center is a non-profit organization and receives finance from the Anadolu Foundation, an arm of the multinational Anadolu industrial group. Anadolu is one of the groups that has participated in the nutritional and active life programs (campaigns) of the Ministry of Health of the Turkey General Directorate since 2011.
The research investigates health campaigns that have run on Twitter in the past eight months in Turkey. This strategy reviewed the websites and public health campaigns of non-governmental and non-profit organizations such as Anadolu, TOHUM Autism Foundation (TOF), and several other similar organizations. None of the non-profit organizations claimed to have participated in or launched a public health campaign on Twitter in Turkey within the past eight months. The strategy examined if any of the NGO's have relationships with other organizations that have initiated a public health campaign in Turkey within the past eight to eighteen months. This strategy revealed that the Anadolu group has participated in the nutritional as well as active life programs (campaigns) run by the Ministry of Health of the Turkey General Directorate as far back as 2011. Additional research revealed an alignment and similarities between the Twitter activities of some subsidiaries of the Anadolu group (the Anadolu Medical Center) and the "Move for Health" Campaign of the Turkish Ministry of Health. However, these Twitter activities took place more than eighteen months ago.
The research also examined the resources of government agencies across Turkey, such as the Turkish Ministry of Health, Turkey's Ministry of National Education, among other agencies. This process investigated public health campaigns that these agencies have run on Twitter in the past eight months in Turkey. The strategy uncovered some campaigns recently run by the Ministry of Health in Turkey. These campaigns include the Anti-Smoking Campaign (also known as the anti-tobacco campaign) to facilitate the treatment process of people addicted to smoking. The research included an additional investigation to uncover if agencies of the Turkish government promote this campaign on Twitter. This process disclosed that some agencies of Turkey's government, such as the Ministry of National Education, often collaborated with the Turkish Green Crescent Society, and other organizations to promote the new anti-smoking campaign through various hashtags like #betNCDS, and the #EnoughNCDS on Twitter. They collaborate to conduct anti-smoking awareness activities on Twitter.
Research to uncover public health campaigns of pharmaceutical companies that have run on Twitter in Turkey within the past eight months did not reveal any helpful information. This strategy reviewed publications on advances made by pharmaceutical companies on public health during their Conferences. A review of progress made by pharmaceutical companies in Turkey relative to public health campaigns on social media platforms (like Twitter) did not disclose any significant information. This limited availability of information may be because most pharmacists are just about to take "the next leap forward" by exploring fundamental principles required in conducting successful public campaigns. This area (public health campaigns) has been the focus of some gatherings and conferences involving pharmacists' associations of key pharmacy stakeholders, partners, and leaders from all over Europe and other regions of the world "in Ankara, Turkey." The limited availability of information on public health campaigns run by pharmaceutical companies in Turkey may be due to the challenges associated with conducting such campaigns in Turkey. Such public health campaigns require permission from the Ministry of Health must run within its confines of principles as well as procedures. Such public health campaigns require approval from the Ministry of Health. They must run "within the confines of principles" as well as methods defined by the ministry. Due to the scarcity of public information or examples of public health campaigns that have run on Twitter in the past eight months in Turkey, the research includes one public health campaign that has run on Twitter in Turkey beyond eight or even eighteen months. The older than eighteen months Tweeter campaign activity by Anadolu Medical Center aligns with the Reducing Portion Sizes Campaign (they both advocate for smaller portion servings). The research brief consists of only programs defined by reputable resources as "campaigns" and Twitter resources promoting them. Recent campaigns on Twitter may be scarce in Turkey because, about four years ago (in 2016), the Turkish government is one of the foremost (leading) censors or blockers of Twitter accounts in the whole world. The Turkish population may need time to get acquainted with Twitter campaigns. The study includes a few resources older than the usual 24-month credibility range due to the scarcity of Twitter-related information on Turkey.