The Critical Stance on Raising Vaccine Awareness Abroad and at Home

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.

Polio vaccination in POC 3 at UN House
Polio Vaccination Campaign in South Sudan Polio vaccination at the UN-House Protection of Civilians (PoC) 3 site in Juba, South Sudan. The Ministry of Health of the Republic of South Sudan is conducting the fourth and last round of its national immunization campaign for 2014, with the support of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) and working with local non-governmental organization Magna. The campaign is targeting children aged 0 – 5 years and aims to immunize 2.4 million children nationwide. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

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The Rising Educational Obstacles for sub-Saharan Children

When children who live in poor countries think about being educated there are many hurdles they face first before stepping foot in the classroom from the sheer proximity to a school to school fees to the cost of a uniform. It adds up quickly and means that many children remain uneducated in developing countries because of their family’s lack of financial resources. Everyone has a basic right … Continue reading The Rising Educational Obstacles for sub-Saharan Children

Reporting from Zambia with the International Reporting Project

As I mentioned a few weeks ago I will be reporting from Zambia as an International Reporting Project Zambia Fellow starting on July 15. I will be in Africa with nine stellar new media journalists. We all have our own beats and will report on different angles about HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. I personally will report on how these infectious diseases acutely affect mothers and … Continue reading Reporting from Zambia with the International Reporting Project

Save the Children Releases Important New Breastfeeding Report

Save the Children released a brand-new breastfeeding report, Superfood for Babies, that says 830,000 babies’ lives can be saved worldwide if they are breastfed within the critical first hour after birth. In the first hour after birth babies benefit from drinking colostrum, the most effective and potent natural immune system boosting substance on the planet. Babies who are breastfed within the very first hour after … Continue reading Save the Children Releases Important New Breastfeeding Report

Team Creates Clean Water Solution for South Africans

James Smith, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Dr. Rebecca Dillingham, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Global Health, with a PureMadi water filter. In areas where water is often filled with pathogens that are deadly or can cause severe illness it is important to either filter water or, the alternative, have access to clean water. According to our partner WaterAid, 783 … Continue reading Team Creates Clean Water Solution for South Africans

One Million Health Workers Slated to be Trained in Sub-Saharan Africa

While traveling on a long, remote road to a village in southern Ethiopia we noticed the vast amount of dust and sand covering the trees. Every person walking along the road wore a head scarf to keep the swirl of dust out of their eyes and mouths. But most importantly, the road was long – possible twenty miles – all uphill to the nearest street … Continue reading One Million Health Workers Slated to be Trained in Sub-Saharan Africa

Intel Releases Report About Internet Access for Women, Girls in Developing World

Access to the Internet liberates individuals and entire countries. Unfortunately of those who have access to the Internet in a variety of platforms (not just via mobile phones) women and girls lack Net use significantly. Intel, UN Women and the US State Department are looking to change that. A joint report, “Women and the Web” calls for a doubling of women who have access to the Internet … Continue reading Intel Releases Report About Internet Access for Women, Girls in Developing World

Help Send Books to Ethiopian Schoolchildren

Children everywhere deserve an exceptional education. In fact, it it their right. In Ethiopia, there is a 10-20% increase of school-age children meaning there is a greater need for educational materials. Bruktawit Tigabu, the award-winning entrepreneur and co-founder of Tsehai Loves Learning, is bringing storybooks to thousands of children in Ethiopia and needs your help. Higher Circle has launched their Opening Books to Open Doors campaign where they … Continue reading Help Send Books to Ethiopian Schoolchildren

The Importance of Clean Cookstoves – A Personal Experience

When I was in Ethiopia last week observing frontline health workers with Save the Children I had the unfortunate circumstance of going into a home, a traditional hut, where the mother was cooking on her indoor cookstove. The smoke from the burning wood was so thick and powerful I could hardly breathe and couldn’t imagine a family, let alone children and babies, being in an enclosed … Continue reading The Importance of Clean Cookstoves – A Personal Experience

Do You Know an Amazing Health Worker?

Health workers are typically the unsung heroes around the world. They help women deliver their babies in health facilities, they treat babies who are too weak to thrive and even care for wounded civilians during time of war. Health workers assess our problems and patch us up the best they know how. And in developing countries where health workers are vital to the survival of … Continue reading Do You Know an Amazing Health Worker?

Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Haiti

Hurricane Sandy left death and destruction along its path through the Caribbean and upwards through the northeast United States over the past week. The latest death toll in the United States is nearing 100 and property and environmental damages will cost billions of dollars to repair. But, in Haiti where hurricanes and tropical storms are rife and where development projects remain too few the flooding, … Continue reading Hurricane Sandy’s Aftermath in Haiti

Maternity Equality in Uganda: How You Can Help

ACTION: Become a Shanti Uganda Birth Partner. Why and how below. As a mother who has given birth twice I feel a strong, overwhelming kinship with women all over the world who have or will also give birth even if I don’t know them nor will I ever. That global kinship makes me work harder to learn more about maternal health in developing countries and … Continue reading Maternity Equality in Uganda: How You Can Help

[Watch] No Joke. #ChoiceMatters. Everywhere

Women around the world, especially in developing countries, often have difficulties accessing quality reproductive health care. For more than 55 years, Pathfinder International has worked to expand access to quality sexual and reproductive health care to enable and empower individuals to make choices about their body and their future. To bring home the realities that women around the world face to access reproductive health care, … Continue reading [Watch] No Joke. #ChoiceMatters. Everywhere

New Fishing, Agricultural Development Project in Haiti

Development projects in the developing world help in immeasurable ways. They create a blueprint for implemented ideas that work and even those that have drawbacks, but most importantly they help people lead more productive, healthy lives. Even if the projects aren’t scaled nationwide or even regionally development projects allow experts to help those in need and learn simultaneously. Recently the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti … Continue reading New Fishing, Agricultural Development Project in Haiti

A Woman’s Right to Basic Family Planning and Why It is Important

There is a worldwide problem facing women: the lack of access to and education about family planning. What makes this issue so compelling and absolutely important to me as a mother is  access to contraceptives in developing countries will save the lives of mothers and babies. Period. I cannot imagine not being able to choose when I want to have a baby when I am … Continue reading A Woman’s Right to Basic Family Planning and Why It is Important