By Lisi Martinez Lotz PhD, Program Director, Vaccine Ambassadors
Vaccine Ambassadors was created by parents and healthcare professionals in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of immunizations for all children, whether living in an area where vaccines are part of routine care or where this resource is far less common. By becoming Vaccine Ambassadors during their clinic visit, parents are able to give to the global community, while also engaging in a conversation with their pediatrician on the value of immunizations.
Our program speaks to the issue of under vaccination. In many areas of the world lack of access leads to low vaccination rates, while in others it is a direct consequence of misinformation. Vaccine Ambassadors offers parents a meaningful way to make an impact in the lives of children who otherwise would go without life-saving vaccines, while also highlighting the need for vaccines in our local communities.
An integrated approach to healthcare no matter the setting is a more effective and rights-based approach to healthier outcomes. When family planning services are available at HIV/AIDS clinics, Population Action International (PAI) believes patients will receive better care, health workers will be more efficient, and dollars will be saved.
In sub-Saharan Africa integrated clinic settings are critical to healthier outcomes. In addition to this infographic, PAI created this film last year, In One Place, to drive home the importance of integrated services to family planning and HIV/AIDS services.
We are really thrilled to announce our newest partner: PSI!
PSI is a global health organization dedicated to improving the health of people in the developing world by focusing on serious challenges like a lack of family planning, HIV and AIDS, barriers to maternal health, and the greatest threats to children under five, including malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition.
In fact, while I was in Zambia this month I saw many clinics in the country where PSI has a presence including a male circumcision clinic in Livingston.
A hallmark of PSI is a commitment to the principle that health services and products are most effective when they are accompanied by robust communications and distribution efforts that help ensure wide acceptance and proper use.
We look forward to working with PSI to spread the word about their great work around the world.
This week from April 8 – 12, 2013 the World Health Organization is celebrating World Health Workers Week. This is a week to honor those who are literally on the frontlines of health care in the developing world every single day. They are the ones who make sure mothers’ babies are attended to directly after birth. They are the ones who provide family planning services to women in the community who need them. They are the ones who educate their communities about healthy pregnancies and deliveries. They are the ones who help treat children for malaria and diarrhea and diagnose malnutrition. They are the ones who refer those who are ill to hospitals when their health is beyond what they can manage.
These are frontline health workers in Ethiopia. This week we honor them and frontline health workers all over the world and celebrate the lifesaving work they do every day.