We have written at length about the power of frontline health workers from documenting female frontline health workers in Ethiopia to discussing the importance of their work as they provide health care to those without access to health centers and hospitals. While we know that frontline health workers are pivotal to the overall health of a country, it is also important to note that many put their lives on the line in the name of global health.
Today news emerged from Nigeria that nine female polio health workers were killed by gunmen. There are only three countries where the polio is endemic – Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Female health workers in Pakistan were also targeted and killed in Pakistan in December and January.
The global health community is extremely close to eradicating polio globally through lifesaving vaccines, but a stubborn virus coupled with human opposition to erasing it from the planet continue to keep polio alive in Asia and Africa.
Learn more about how you can help end polio at www.endpolio.org.
UN Photo/Jawad Jalali
By now you have probably heard about Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old schoolgirl in Pakistan, who was brutally shot by the Taliban in retaliation for promoting girls’ education in her country. Since news broke about Malala being shot and her subsequent weeks towards recovery, millions have stood in solidarity with Malala in a global show of support reiterating to the world that Malala’s work has not been in vain.
On November 10, the world will celebrate Malala Day created by the The Office of the UN Special Envoy for Global Education.
What can you do now and on November 10th?
- Sign the petition to call on Pakistan to agree to a plan to deliver education to all its children: http://educationenvoy.org
- Spread the word. Inform your audience of the #IamMalala campaign and invite them to sign the petition.
- Spend November 10th in solidarity for Malala Day. Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown – the UN Special Envoy for Global Education – and his wife Sarah will deliver thepetition to the Pakistani president on this day.
Today is World Polio Day. World Polio Day was started by Rotary International and is an annual day on October 24 where the world comes together to stress the importance of global polio eradication. The good news is polio is nearing complete eradication with only three countries where the paralysing disease is still endemic – Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. India is currently one-year free from any reported polio cases.
According to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative there have been 171 reported cases of polio, down substantially from 467 reported by this time last year. The world is 99% free of polio.
What can you do to help?
- The UN Foundation’s Shot at Life program is fundraising to vaccinate 40,000 children by Halloween. $1 can vaccinate one child. Learn more and donate here.
- You can lend your voice to spread the word about polio eradication on EndPolio.com.
- You can keep up-to-date on polio eradication news on the Gates Foundation’s polio page.
Photo: UN Photo/Evan Schneider