Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shot at Life: Global Vaccinations, The United Nations and Social Media Moms

The United Nations Foundation recently kicked off its Shot at Life campaign promoting global vaccinations.  It's part of the UN Foundation's mission to improve maternal and child health.  Not just them either, they're working with partners like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, and the Red Cross.  You might have heard about the venture as part of The Million Moms Challenge


As a so-called Mommy Blogger - we'll talk about that in a bit - I get invitations to join all manner of causes but this one caught my fancy. Whatever your beliefs about the HPV vaccine, the debunked link between the MMR and autism, or even the relatively rare risks of any vaccine, it is downright hard to ignore let alone argue against immunizing kids around the world who die from diarrhea, measles, polio, pneumonia and other way preventable diseases.  Not when the costs of not immunizing are so high. 

Shot@Life Join the Movement

Take a look-see at these depressing stats below and the cool, invigorating? "health-inspiring" graphic at right:

1.7 million children will die from preventable diseases this year.

 
1 in 5 kids around the world don't have access to immunizations.

 

1 kid dies every 20 seconds from these preventable diseases.

Pretty depressing.  Just a few of the things I learned at the UN Foundation's Shot at Life reception last week in Manhattan, an event in collaboration with The Social Good Summit.   I'd met up with Peg Willingham, the woman in charge of the UN Foundation's Global Vaccine Initiative, at BlogHer this summer.  She and her crew came to New York City to launch their campaign as part of the Social Goods festivities.   

Oh I learned a few other vaccination stats.  Peg informed me their research showed about 96% of US parents had vaccinated their children.  Wow.  Knew the figure was up there, but didn't realize that high.  So I did some independent checking for recent vaccination rates.  Sure enough, the numbers jibe with the CDC's 2010 Vaccination Survey.  And hey, New Jersey, New York - why are we 2 of only 3 states with rates below 90%??  Huh? My neighbors, you got some explaining.

Back to my night in the Big City, full of talk of diarrhea, third-world poverty and pie charts (yes, just another day in my life save the Manhattan skyline and the cute guy pouring my Pinot Noir). 

So the Shot at Life launch included luminaries from the world of social media and blogging.  To name a few -  Emily McKhann, the founder of The Motherhood.com, Morra Aarons Mele, the CEO of WomenOnline, Holly Hamann, the co-founder of Blog Frog, and Katherine Stone, the founder of Postpartum Progress.   Lovely women, all.  Especially in a semi-dark ridiculously hip hotel bar.  I know, I was the little fish in the big pond, the outlier, the pick-the-item that does not belong!  Yes, I was also the one not texting, mobile blogging or otherwise engaging technology. 

But I did manage to make my mini-speech on the neglected arena of science-minded women bloggers and its co-conspirator in my imagination, the misinformation in the parenting media.  You never know when the message will sink in.  Maybe today, maybe next week.  Perhaps next century (go get The Body Politic!). 

If you truly care about the health of women and kids (and okay, men) it seems only logical to me that you also care about getting accurate information to not only health care professionals but also the parents.

As for the ubiquitous term Mommy Blogger - I'm a woman working in social media.  At the very least, "Social Media Mom." How's that?  Don't love the "mommy" part either.  Yes, I write about children and parenting but so do a whole lot of other people (i.e. who get to be called journalists, doctors, health professionals, etc).  Stole the SOCIAL MEDIA from my new friend and savvy social media maven, Holly Pavlika over at Mom-entum.  And no my brand has like no mom-entum. 

Anyhow, what do you call the guy blogging?  Come to think of it, next time you read a post by a man with so much as a single reference to his kid or really any kid, please email me or comment so I can please call him a Daddy Blogger.  Maybe I'll start a collection and call it BlogHim.

2 comments:

Liz Ditz said...

Oh to be in New York.

Mothers who blog on science and medicine (sometimes even about vaccines!) (avoiding links so it will not get hung up too long)

Emily Willingham
Dr. Jen Gunter
Wendy Sue Swanson, SeattleMamaDoc
Janet D. Stemwedel
Dr. Isis
Amy Tuteur, the Skeptical OB

just six I picked out of the top of my head....I bet if I spent 30 minutes following links I could find 60 women with children who blog about science and medicine.

Polly Palumbo, Ph.D. said...

Oh to be in California.

Thanks for the list! But why don't these women and others like them (I think you could find 160 in short time!) pop up "Best of" or other publicized lists or events? They certainly don't seem to show up at BlogHer, do they? It's my opinion that sciency folks don't tend to join or unite easily. It's the inherent skepticism that makes joining organizations and causes difficult!