1000 Cities - 1000 Lives: Who is Your World Health Day Champion?
On April 7th, we celebrate World Health Day, which commemorates the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO). The theme this year, “1000 Cities - 1000 Lives,” encourages 1000 cities to use public spaces for open dialogue about urban health champions who have significantly impacted their city. Do you have a story?
My story is about my aunt, who worked tirelessly to promote sex education here in Baltimore. In my opinion, she is a true champion that represents WHO’s agenda, which aims to promote development, foster health security, strengthen health systems, harness research, information and evidence, enhance partnerships and improve performance both at the international level and within countries.
My aunt believed sex education should start at an early age. When I was younger, she would walk through our neighborhood handing out pamphlets and condoms and ask teens to practice safe sex. At the time, I remembered being embarrassed that she was openly talking to my peers about the dangers of unprotected sex. She began to set up tables at neighborhood flea markets and block parties to get the word out! Now, as a public health professional working in family planning and reproductive health, I can appreciate how her openness and willingness to educate shaped my life.
At least half a million women die annually of pregnancy-related causes. Ninety-nine percent live in developing countries. Family planning has lengthened and improved the lives of women and children around the world and here at K4health, we are continuing the conversation with a newly created community, called Kampala Conversations: Knowledge to Action for Family Planning. If you are interested, you can join us April 12-23, 2010 in a conversation about international family planning with a focus on the International Conference on Family Planning: Research and Best Practices that took place in Kampala, Uganda, in November 2009.
This virtual discussion will bring together individuals working in family planning programs around the world and provide a space to share experiences, best practices, and lessons learned. Please join the discussion and tell your story!
Ashley Isabelle, Communication Coordinator