Minister Koji’s Response to SMA Opposition Test Statements

SHAFAQNA Türkiye – Minister of Health Fahrettin Koca issued a statement titled “Kemal Bey, we are already doing it” regarding statements made by National Alliance Presidential Candidate and CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on the air he visited regarding spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) patients. . Stating that the SMA screening program for premarital couples started in 2021 and that the Ministry of Health has made extensive preparations to launch screening programs, Minister Koca said in turn, “Mr. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also touched on the topic of SMA patients. in the program of the Youtube channel, where he was a guest. Undoubtedly, any delicacy regarding the SMA is admirable, but its promise was to implement the well-established practice of our ministry, which has already been implemented.


Following this statement by Minister Koca, ABB President Mansour Yavas wrote on his Twitter account: “Mr. Minister, as you know, we launched a free SMA test on February 27, 2021, opening up new opportunities in Turkey. In December 2021, the Ministry of Health began its implementation. We are proud to serve as an example for our ministries.”

Minister Koca, quoting Yavash’s tweet, said: “Mr. Mansour, setting an example is as valuable as being an example. However, there is no exemplary case for the SMA screening tests you claim were performed. Screenings for SMA have been included in the central program not only for couples entering into marriage, but also for newborns, and are effectively carried out by our Ministry.


Stating that there are no statements from ABB for SMA patients in the records of the General Directorate of Public Health, Koca said: “Screening for certain diseases in the community is a responsibility of public health and is carried out by the General Directorate of Public Health. Those who wish to participate in these activities can contribute to these activities by obtaining permission from the Directorate General of Public Health. The main reason for this is to keep a record of every step in a single center and take measures for an effective fight. Your permit application was not found in our records. Did you have an app that we didn’t know about? Even if you made these scans without permission and for example, I would like to know where you did it. Our records do not have a license for your municipality’s laboratory that has these facilities. Where did you do the tests you said you did?” made a statement.


Minister Koja, who said, “I have some questions that contain some information for you,” listed his questions to Yavash; “It is necessary to share the results of screening tests with the Directorate General of Public Health. If you submitted a test application as you claim and performed a test, did you report the results of those tests to our General Directorate of Public Health? What is the total number of tests you require? From the date you provided, how many “trial” tests did you run per year in 2021, 2022, and 2023? Have you ever found a pair of carriers as a result of the tests you claim to have done? If so, did you report them to our Ministry as a legal and humanitarian obligation? If you found media in the scans you are applying for, did you have any precautions or savings in place for them? Have you ever had a scan of a newborn with SMA? If so, have you notified the ministry? Have you identified any cases? If so, have you communicated this to our Ministry as a legal and humanitarian obligation? Mr. Yavash, I know the answers to all these questions. I will be waiting for your reply. I hope that your answer will not be similar to the statements you made in the presence of our people on the evening of May 14th.”

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