Allie Stryker 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Lions United Against Measles in Uganda When Uganda’s Ministry of Health recently reported more than 500 cases of measles across the country, local Lions wanted to help. In May, Lions in Uganda united against measles and joined LCIF’s effort to help eliminate measles worldwide by participating in a country-wide vaccination campaign. Ugandan Lions worked with the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization and UNICEF to coordinate a targeted vaccination effort. As a result, a three-day campaign was created and a goal was set to vaccinate 6.9 million children. Lions played a key role in the vaccination campaign. Working with business contacts, they purchased radio, television and newspaper advertisements to raise awareness of the vaccinations. They even used a “town-crier” truck with loudspeakers that drove up and down streets announcing the campaign to everyone within earshot. Lions also ordered T-shirts for health workers and created posters and banners for vaccination sites. Their efforts spread awareness of the importance of routine immunizations, potentially preventing future measles outbreaks in the country. All 20 of Uganda’s Lions clubs came together to work alongside community health workers for three days to support the measles vaccination campaign. The clubs held ceremonies to launch the campaign, inviting local leaders to take part. Each Lions club worked with one or two vaccination posts to ensure that children were registered and other needs were met at each site while health care workers administered vaccinations. “I asked the Lions I encountered who had worked tirelessly in the heat for the entire weekend if their three days of volunteerism had been worth it,” says Benjamin Futransky, an LCIF staff member who participated in the vaccination event. “The answer I heard over and over from each Lion was a resounding yes. The small part they played in immunizing each child filled them with joy because they knew one less child was at risk of sickness or even death from measles.” When LCIF joined the Measles & Rubella Initiative in 2010, officials knew Lions would want to help children in countries where measles is a heavy health burden. More than 41 million children have been vaccinated against measles. This year, LCIF is working with measles partners to vaccinate 157 million children against measles. Together, we can help eliminate measles. Just ask the Lions of Uganda.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.lionmagazine.org/article/Fighting+Measles/1204611/129809/article.html.