The VoICE Featured Issues are created to update and inform the global child health & immunization advocacy community and health-related communications stakeholders about contemporary topics where immunizations intersect with health and economics. The VoICE editors follow a topic through different sectors and with different perspectives, to outline its linkages to vaccination and broader development ideas. These features also serve as an illustration of how evidence-based messages, backed by credible data, can be used to communicate important immunization and health benefit messages to the global community. We will often publish these features in preparation for upcoming advocacy events or campaigns.
Critical but complex: Vaccination during conflict and forced migration
Conflict and forced migration – resulting in disruption of communities and health systems – amplify the risk factors for infectious disease and increase the urgency of preventive measures such as immunization. While disease outbreaks of measles, cholera, meningitis and even polio in refugee camps may be the most widely covered issues related to immunization in conflict-affected areas and populations, this VoICE Featured Issue explores some of the less-visible, but equally critical aspects. Immunizations play an important role in these settings, considering the threat of malnutrition and antimicrobial resistance, economic pressures, and the urgent need for responsive policies.
The unyielding impact of childhood diarrhea
Despite tremendous global progress, diarrhea remains the second leading infectious cause of under-5 deaths, taking a child’s life almost every minute. Although diarrhea can seem like a common, simple childhood ailment in many places, a single episode of diarrhea can be serious, even deadly, and have severe economic implications for families and communities. Advocates play a critical role in ensuring evidence-based diarrhea prevention and control programs and policies are a top priority globally and in the countries where this disease is most prolific.
Universal Health Coverage: What immunization advocates should consider
December 12th is worldwide Universal Health Coverage (UHC) day! Although exceedingly complex in its implementation, the concept behind UHC is simple: All people should benefit from quality health services, medicines and vaccinations, and no one should be put in financial peril to do so. In recognition of UHC Day 2018, the VoICE team brings you a brief look at the interplay between coverage of immunization and other basic health interventions, and the important role of immunization in protecting against financial risk – both within the context of the Sustainable Development Goal Target for UHC.
Gender equity and vaccines: an equal shot at health
Last month at the G7 meeting in Canada, global leaders met to consider gender equality, one of the 5 key themes Canada will advance during their tenure. Partners, experts and representatives in the immunization world echoed this emphasis on gender at the Global Immunization Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda just a few days ago. The issues of gender and gender equity within immunization are complex, and designing research to study equity gaps can be difficult. To understand what we do know about immunization and gender, women’s empowerment and gender equity, the VoICE team this month features an overview of these issues.
NEW RESEARCH CLIFF NOTES: Equity and Poverty Reduction Impact of Vaccines
In February 2018, Angela Chang and colleagues released a widely publicized study in Health Affairs estimating the death and economic impoverishment (due to medical expenses) that could be averted in 41 low-income nations through the use of 10 vaccine antigens from 2016-2030. Here, the VoICE team brings you “New Research Cliff Notes”, where we provide a high-level explanation of this new study, important considerations, notes on interpretation and drivers of the study’s estimates.
The vicious cycle of undernutrition and infectious disease: How does it work and what role do vaccines play?
Undernutrition and infectious diseases are tightly linked in a self-reinforcing cycle. Childhood episodes of diarrhea, pneumonia and measles are exacerbated by undernutrition, which significantly contributes to the death toll from these infections. In this feature, the VoICE team explains the cycle of malnutrition and infectious disease, and brings you evidence of the ways in which vaccines interrupt this cycle and help to protect the overall health, growth and physical development of vulnerable children.
Cancer and immunization: More than meets the eye
Evidence from several disciplines indicates that immunization has a broader role to play in lessening the impact of cancer than one might expect. While it may be obvious that the widespread and growing use of vaccines against Hepatitis B and human papilloma virus (HPV) is directly responsible for preventing a significant number of related cancers, immunization against a host of other diseases may indirectly help to prevent additional cancers while helping to protect the health of immune-compromised cancer patients considerably. Read on for a brief explanation of how vaccines can prevent cancer, protect cancer patients and more.
World Immunization Week - Social Media Toolkit
Leveraging the theme of World Immunization Week (April 24-30), Protected Together #Vaccineswork, the VoICE team has developed social media content pairing evidence from the compendium with the priority messaging areas of WIW2018 advocacy partners. We invite you to download our WIW2018 social media toolkit.
Pneumonia vaccines - Secret weapons in the war on poverty
Childhood pneumonia is arguably the most unfair affliction in the world. Not only is pneumonia the leading infectious cause of death in children less than 5 years of age – taking the lives of more than 100 children each hour, nearly a million per year – but it disproportionately affects those living in the poorest households and in the poorest countries around the world. Hib, pneumococcal, measles and pertussis vaccines are turning the tide in the battle against childhood pneumonia, and are helping to erase the complex inequity into which children living in poverty are born. Read on to find out why and what role vaccines are playing in the war on poverty.