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World Humanitarian Day’s Photostory: It Takes A Village To Reach Health Equity

World Humanitarian Day (WHD) is a global celebration of people helping people. Whenever and wherever communities are in need, there are others who help them. They are the affected people themselves – always first to respond when disaster strikes – and a global community that supports them as they recover.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) personnel is uniquely positioned for such challenges. Their unique global reach, technical expertise, and broad range of partnerships allow them to respond rapidly and at scale, moving people, resources, and supplies to where they are needed the most during health emergencies. WHO ensures prevention, preparedness, readiness, response, and recovery in emergency situations.

The 2022 WHD campaign shines a light on the thousands of skilled and dedicated volunteers, professionals, and crisis-affected people who deliver urgent health care, shelter, food, protection, water, and much more.

In Colombia, remote indigenous communities in the Amazon region were among the priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination. Health teams went door-to-door and set up “pop-up” vaccination sites in order to quickly vaccinate as many eligible community residents as possible.  PAHO/WHO Advisor in Family, Gender and Life Course Dr Ivy Lorena Talavera worked on the development of the COVID-19 vaccination plan within the framework of the COVAX program. On 1 March 2021, Colombia became the first country in the Americas to receive COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Facility, marking a historic step toward the goal of ensuring equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the region and worldwide. The delivery of 117 000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines boosted the vaccination campaign already started by the  Colombian government.  
A village health volunteer gives advice to a patient at Koo Bang Luang’s health promotion hospital, on 17 July 2020. Village health volunteers help keep people free from COVID-19 and other diseases.
Members of the volunteer vaccination team pose for a photo during the national immunization campaign in Hargeisa, Somalia. A nationwide polio immunization campaign was held in Somalia from 24 to 27 March 2019. The campaign aimed to vaccinate an estimated 3.1 million children under the age of five in the country.   Around 15 000 frontline polio health workers were actively engaged in the campaign and visited every house to ensure that all under 5s received at least a single dose of oral polio vaccine during the campaign.
“I came here on February 25 when I discovered that there are a lot of patients here and not everyone can come to work,” Anastasia said. “I am from Donetsk originally, so war is not new to me. But back then [in Donetsk] I didn’t face war as a medical worker.” The 24 year-old is an intern and volunteer, photographed in the corridor of Hospital #17 on 8 March 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
On April 25, 2022, WHO Community Systems Strengthening Officer Ezzedin Adam Mohamad Adam facilitated a community health dialogue in the village of Abu Gaw (North Darfur, Sudan). Community dialogues allow residents to take  an active role in their own healthcare, proposing solutions for their health needs, and holding local health authorities accountable. The dialogues in Abu Gaw in North Darfur, ultimately resulted in the construction of a new health care center in the village.

The WHO Foundation continues to harness the power of partnerships to raise funds and nurture collaborations to support WHO and its team members on the ground. Emergency response and preparedness is  one of our key areas, as well as our campaigns like GoGiveOne for vaccine equity, the Ukraine emergency health appeal or COVID-19 response.

To enquire about our partnership opportunities, please visit our website and get involved.

Laura Eboa Songue

August 19, 2022, 4 min. read
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