World Hepatitis Summit 2015

9 09 2015

Imagine that you have a unicycle, and this unicycle is your favorite mode of transportation.

You have a handful of friends around the country who also own and ride unicycles, but where you live, you’re the only one-wheeler to be seen.

Now imagine you go to a meeting in a far off land that brings hundreds of people from 80+ countries together to discuss—unicycles.

It’s comforting and uplifting to be among your tribe, isn’t it!

That’s what happened to me when I attended the World Hepatitis Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, last week.

Granted, I’m always talking to parents about hepatitis. Many of our families have children living with a chronic, viral hepatitis infection. Some parents have lost their child to such an infection. Treatment, treatment side effects, prevention, testing—these are all frequent topics at PKIDs.

But, to be with so many people representing organizations around the world hard at work on issues surrounding hepatitis, well, that’s why it felt like a homecoming.

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Our hosts, the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), did a bang-up job on this first summit. They and their partners, the Glasgow Caledonian University, Health Protection Scotland, and the Scottish government, made us feel welcome and provided a well-run meeting.

For five days, volunteers were everywhere, eager to help and always smiling. Seriously, they smiled the entire time. And word has it, most of them were out of bed by three o’clock each morning so they could be in place, ready to serve when we arrived.

Let me just say, there’s only one cranky person in all of Glasgow. He drives a white cab and hangs out at the SECC in front of the river Clyde. Every other Glaswegian treats you like a favorite cousin come to visit for a spell.

And the WHA members! A nurse from Wales and a physician from Egypt talked collaboration over lunch on Thursday, an attendee from Botswana gave funding tips to a few Americans as they all lounged around waiting for a passageway door to be unlocked, and the man from Pakistan impressed everyone with his sparkly evening attire at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum dinner.

Three vignettes from the thousands of interactions that happened at the World Hepatitis Summit this year. All of the members were eager and ready to band together in the fight against hepatitis.

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So what did we accomplish at this week-long event? We found out we’re not alone—that we’re actually part of a strong global network fighting to reduce and, one day, eliminate hepatitis B and C infections.

We found our voice, and by closing our many fists into one, we found that we are mighty.

Join WHA. You’re not alone!

 

by Trish Parnell





New Movement Spotlights The Value Of Vaccination

3 09 2014

Encouraging conversation through valueofvaccination.org

An ever-growing body of individuals and organizations has come together for the purpose of highlighting that which is well-known but seldom stated: vaccination adds value to our lives.

Building upon a groundswell of public support for vaccination, the Value of Vaccination movement is garnering attention to the benefits that vaccines bring to every community. The initiative features the sharing of personal stories, videos demonstrating the positive impacts of vaccination, and easy-to-understand guides to the science behind vaccines and the immune system.TVOV-1500

The movement is expanding beyond the website to include social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. The goal is to encourage conversation at home, at work, and at school about the value of vaccination.

“The importance of dialogue around vaccines has become recognized globally,” said Heidi Larson, who leads the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. “Conversations between health providers and the public, among individuals, families and communities, and between the public and policy-makers are key to building trust. This important value-centered movement appreciates the science, but puts people at the center. ”

A call has been put out to the public to provide ideas on how best to illustrate the value of vaccination to others. It’s hoped that through crowdsourcing, new and unexpected methods of communicating this critical dimension of public health will be discovered.

Value of Vaccination is a body of individuals and organizations working together to promote the fact that vaccines bring value to our lives, and the many ways in which that value is actualized. This program is supported by a host of volunteers, along with financial support from PKIDs, a nonprofit based in the US. For more information, visit www.valueofvaccination.org.





Flu Education Resources

17 10 2012

The American Lung Association’s Faces of Influenza campaign has a fabulous toolkit available this year that is free-of-charge, along with PSAs that are also free-of-charge.

They have brochures, posters, and flyers ready to print, and they have an influenza backgrounder, templates of articles and letters to the editor, press releases, print ads, and other materials ready to use.

You may download all of these materials, or you may ask that hard copies be sent to you.

There are two campaign spokespeople this year, both of whom are warm and caring individuals—one is Sarah Chalke from the television show Scrubs, and the other is Maria Canals Barrera, from the television show Wizards of Waverly Place.

If you have any questions about the materials, contact Mary Havell at the American Lung Association.

Families Fighting Flu also has materials that may be downloaded and used in flu-fighting efforts. They have posters, postcards, and brochures that may either be downloaded at no cost, or they have hard copies that may be ordered.

The Immunization Action Coalition has handouts about vaccine-preventable diseases and vaccines that may be downloaded from their website free-of-charge.

The Vaccine Education Center at CHOP also has many handouts that are downloadable free-of-charge from their website.

There are lots of other organizations that have free educational material about influenza, including PKIDs.

What materials do you have that you can share with others this flu season? Tell us about them in comments, and leave URLs if you can.

By Trish Parnell
Image courtesy of USACE Europe District





Free Flu Educational Materials

2 09 2010

If you’re a flu fighter, someone whose mission is to work with the public to stop disease transmission, there are a couple of resources we’d like to tell you about.

PKIDs has a toolkit for educators called Flu’s Gonna Lose.  This kit has free materials to download—most materials are open-source so you are allowed to brand with your organization logo and contact information.

The kit includes:

  • Posters 8.5 x 11 or 8.5 x 14
  • Web banners and buttons – animated or static
  • Podcasts and blogs for sharing
  • PTA materials with:
    • Fact sheets
    • Letter templates to raise flu awareness with school officials and staff
    • How-to guide for creating and running a school-based flu vaccine clinic
    • Sample radio PSA scripts
    • Sample press release
  • Nonprofit/group materials with:
    • Materials similar to PTA, but adapted for use by nonprofits

The CDC is coming out with many materials to support its new campaign, “Flu Ends With U.”

They offer:

There are many more materials coming from the CDC and they should all be online by end of September at the latest.

If you know of other free materials for flu educators to use, pass them along and we’ll post the info in a blog.





YouTube for Health Educators

26 08 2010

YouTube isn’t just for Justin Bieber fans or people interested in 20th century dance moves.  It’s also perfect for health educators.

YouTube provides health educators with an endless supply of videos on health topics ranging from pertussis to the importance of adequate vaccination, as well as breaking health news and updates from government agencies.

Did you know CDC is on YouTube, as is WHO, and other estimable groups such as UNICEF and Save the Children?

A number of health departments use YouTube for health education campaigns addressing food inspection, oral health, swine flu, and everything in between.

If you are a health educator and are interested in learning more about YouTube, including how to set up an account and upload a video, sign up for next Wednesday’s webinar using these steps:

  1. Sign up for PKIDs Communications Made Easy Program (It’s free!)
  2. Register for our YouTube for Health Educators webinar (held Wednesday, September 1st at 9:00 am pacific time)
  3. Call in on the day of the webinar, using the number from your registration email
  4. Get online using the URL link in your registration email




Teens, Vaccines, and Media

26 07 2010

How do I communicate with teens? This question hounds most providers as well as parents and teachers. Thanks to excellent research by the Kaiser Family Foundation and PEW Research Center, we know some of the answer lies in the latest media trends and technologies.

But what about health information? Most parents have to walk the line between gatekeeping and educating their teens about their own health and wellness. Nowhere is this juggle more apparent than in the realm of teens and vaccines.

According to CDC, teens 18 and under need Tdap, meningococcal, seasonal flu, and HPV vaccines, as well as to stay current with other childhood vaccines.

In 2008, CDC launched a pre-teen vaccine campaign, impressing on caregivers the importance of vaccinations for this age group as well. The host of recommended vaccines protect against diseases such as whooping cough, HPV, meningitis, pneumonia, and others.

Reaching Our Teens

Communicating the importance of vaccinations to teens isn’t just a matter of laying out the facts. Programs like GetVaxed, PKIDs teen and young adult site, attempt to reach adolescents using colorful, short, pithy health messages with extra punch and color.

Translating health messages, pithy or not, into action is a science that interests many, especially given the evolution of information-sharing with the onset of online and mobile technologies.  In a subsection of the Internet and American Life Report, Pew Research Center tracks the way teens use technology to communicate and get information.

As teens increasingly turn to texting as their preferred method of communication, parents and health providers would be wise to consider ways to text out health and prevention messages.

According to Pew, using texts to educate teens about STD prevention can be effective, though no data exists currently that addresses text immunization messages.

Given the importance of teen and pre-teen vaccination, it’s clear that parents and immunization educators would benefit from more outreach efforts targeting the favored language of teens (texts, Facebook, and the mobile Web).

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s report, Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8 to 18 Year Olds concludes that in the past few years TV as a messaging medium has largely been replaced by the Internet and mobile technology.

Parents and providers are still the trusted purveyors of immunization information for teens, but we need to adapt how we share that information with them to ensure receipt.

 





5 Summer Books for Strong Daughters

7 07 2010

Imagine your daughter relaxing on a hammock, no TV, iPod, cell phone, or laptop anywhere to be seen. Now picture her reading a book without vampires or princesses or Miley Cyrus —a book that empowers and inspires.

Help your daughter enjoy the magic of summer reading by sharing these gems with her. Organized by grade, these five books are full of girl-power and sure to inspire your younger daughters.

1. Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (Preschool and Kindergarten)

Who can resist the picture-goodness of Madeline, the little French girl with a brave and adventurous spirit?  Madeline makes mischief, but also finds adventure and new friends as she travels around the great cities of Europe, including London, Paris and Rome. Madeline is for all the little girls with brave hearts.

2. Daisy Dawson is on Her Way by Steve Voake (1st, 2nd grade)

Daisy’s tendency to dawdle leads her on a great adventure with animals. Given the gift of talking to animals by a butterfly, Daisy soon grows close to a dog and a horse and many other animal friends. Join Daisy in this first book of a series, as she learns more about friendship on the road to many adventures.

3. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery (3rd, 4th, 5th grade)

Who doesn’t love an orphaned redhead with verbal precocity and a knack for getting into scrapes? Join Anne in the first of the series that follows her as she finds a family and makes friends and mischief on Prince Edward Island at the turn of the last century. Her fiercely independent spirit and creative resiliency are also captured in the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie version of the story, starring Megan Followes.

4. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (3rd, 4th, 5th grade)

Harriet is not just a well-off little girl with a strict but loving governess living in Manhattan. She is, more importantly, a spy, with a daily “spy route” and an ever-present notebook. Her wry observations and stealthy adventures, including the often-told “dumbwaiter” exploits, will light the imaginings of any reader.

5. Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle (6th, 7th, 8th grade)

Many of us come to science fiction through the ominous opening line of this wonderful book by Ms. L’Engle (“It was a dark and stormy night…”). Join heroine Meg Murray, an incredibly bright but awkward girl making her way in a puzzling world, as she and her family are visited by a dark stranger, who has fallen through a “wrinkle in time” (a “tesserac”) on his way to another world. The first in a marvelous series your daughter will remember fondly when she’s older.

Any books we left out that you’d recommend?

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