Investing in health workers can help close the immunization gap
T.The recent sharp decline in routine childhood immunization coverage reported by the World Health Organization is a clear indication that today’s pandemic misinformation and the rise in vaccine misinformation can harm future generations. This is a warning.
The magnitude of the 2021 vaccination gap is difficult to comprehend. 25 million children are not vaccinated and 18 million are fully vaccinated. This is his highest number since 2009.european union Combined They did not receive basic vaccinations to protect them from many of the deadliest childhood diseases on the planet.
This gap represents a major setback after years of steady progress in protecting children around the world from preventable diseases such as polio, whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus. The consequences are serious. More children die before their fifth birthday, more people suffer from long-term disabilities, more parents are forced to take time off from work to care for sick children, and the economy and health care system. It is a chain burden to As countries seek post-pandemic stability, widening vaccination gaps hamper recovery efforts and further weaken health systems ahead of the next major health threat.
A fundamental step that policymakers can take to address today’s childhood immunization gaps and strengthen the world’s ability to fight future epidemics is to empower frontline health workers, especially nurses and communities. Investing in protecting and expanding the health workforce.
Whether in poor rural areas or overcrowded and underserved urban areas, frontline health workers are often key providers of treatment, education and preventive medicine. They are the glue that holds many communities together and are trusted by parents, businesses and political leaders alike. It is declining, and deaths and health care withdrawal decisions are taking a greater toll among frontline responders in both developed and emerging countries.
Directing funds to hire, train and protect health workers around the world supports childhood immunization efforts in three key ways.
First, frontline health workers serve as a critical link in making vaccine decisions for new parents. The decline in immunization was not just a phenomenon of poor countries. Across the world, parents have either chosen to skip trips to clinics during COVID-19 surges, or were unable to get the care they needed because health systems were overwhelmed. Investments in recruiting, training and paying fairly for frontline health workers are what the world has done to quickly address the dramatic decline in immunization coverage and protect children from preventable diseases. It may offer one of the best options for ensuring the resumption of decades of progress.
Second, clinicians, nurses, and physicians working in the community play an invaluable role as health educators. The work of combating misinformation, engaging patients and building trust in the facility starts at the local level. Frontline healthcare workers are the face of care and compassion for millions.
Third, community health workers are essential for early detection and response to disease outbreaks. Due to the increasing incidence of preventable diseases such as measles and polio, health care workers are often the first to identify infections before they spread in the community. It also acts as a watchdog, alerting local and national health authorities when new threats emerge. This is the time when rapid community vaccination campaigns are needed to contain the spread of the disease.
It’s time to allocate sufficient funds to back up the call to support frontline health workers. The Biden-Harris administration is prioritizing investments in health workers through the Global Health Workers Initiative, a key part of the 2023 budget. By approving this important allocation in upcoming budget negotiations, the U.S. Congress believes that investments in recruiting, training, retaining, and securing frontline health workers will improve the health of millions of children. It sends a strong signal to other countries that it provides a clear path for Adults and adults while strengthening critical national and global security measures against future pandemics.
Amanda McClelland, a registered nurse, said: prevent epidemicsa non-profit organization working to prevent new disease threats with its Resolve to Save Lives project.