Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better community engagement and stronger health systems are needed to tackle polio

Date:
October 8, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Two independently written articles call for a shift away from the leader-centric approach that polio eradication campaigns are currently pursuing in the three countries (Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan) where the disease remains endemic.

In this week's PLOS Medicine two independently written articles call for a shift away from the leader-centric approach that polio eradication campaigns are currently pursuing in the three countries (Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan) where the disease remains endemic.

Related Articles


In a Policy Forum article, authors from Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan led by Seye Abimbola from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Nigeria, argue that the global health community and governments involved in polio eradication efforts need to build trust and prioritise polio eradication as part of routine health services in order to address the problem of polio.

The authors highlight that that increasing militancy, political unrest, lack of trust, and deteriorating security conditions are common denominators that threaten polio eradication efforts in all three countries, although these are embedded in country-specific contexts. However, the authors are concerned that current strategies being used to tackle polio may not be best suited to the situation within the three countries.

The authors say, "[i]n our view, the ambition of the global health community to eradicate polio appears to be blinding it to lessons learned about health systems over the past 30 years. Polio eradication will only be achieved with stronger health systems and bottom-up community engagement, which is likely to require more time and more investment than is currently available in Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan because of their political fragility."

In an independently written Essay, Svea Closser and Rashid Jooma from Middlebury College, United States and Aga Khan University, Pakistan highlight the importance of Lady Health Workers in Pakistan who are crucial for the country's polio eradication efforts.

There are approximately 106,000 Lady Health Workers in Pakistan who in addition to working on polio campaigns, visit families monthly to promote family planning; advise on nutrition and hygiene; and create demand for antenatal care, childhood immunization, and use of skilled birth attendants.

However, the authors describe how Pakistan's Lady Health Workers are often in desperate financial straits, have little opportunity for career advancement and risk their lives as frontline health workers. The authors call for a shift away from the "leader-centric" model being employed by partners involved in the polio eradication effort and for increased support for Lady Health Workers in Pakistan.

The authors conclude, "Pakistan's [Lady Health Workers] have the potential to achieve universal immunization and polio eradication in the country. In fact, both of these goals are probably impossible without their full support. Achieving them depends on a shift from treating frontline female health staff as disposable labor to truly engaging them as well-supported, active partners in achieving a healthier Pakistan."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Svea Closser, Rashid Jooma. Why We Must Provide Better Support for Pakistan's Female Frontline Health Workers. PLoS Medicine, 2013; 10 (10): e1001528 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001528

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Better community engagement and stronger health systems are needed to tackle polio." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131008182337.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, October 8). Better community engagement and stronger health systems are needed to tackle polio. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131008182337.htm
Public Library of Science. "Better community engagement and stronger health systems are needed to tackle polio." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131008182337.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins