Frontline health workers from Armenia air their views
YEREVAN, Armenia, 26 April, 2012 - Armenian frontline health professionals recently highlighted major challenges faced by immunologists-pediatricians and nurses in villages and cities as part of this year`s European Immunization Week which ends on Friday. Check out this video excerpts bringing well-deserved recognition to the dedicated workers.
A jab or a drop of vaccination may seem simple but ensuring that most kids are immunized requires communicating, acknowledging, persevering, and most of all having tenacity and dedication. Rarely are vaccinators asked about their views, perceptions or conditions within which they work in. Rarely are they heard or supported. The health system must value, support and inspire the frontline health worker. A fundamental shift in thinking is required to position them as the most important group of people who the health system needs to serve and not the other way around.
In the capital Yerevan, eight health workers met in a focus group discussion on 16 April, 2012 and spoke about their enthusiasm and passion for their work despite the challenges they face. Commenting on what they felt was a declining dedication, one health worker said, they “are the last generation that place human and children`s health higher than material compenszation” for the work they are doing.
Although the challenges faced by frontline health workers were generally common, there were some features that were peculiar only for a particular district or province. So, even though the provinces represented at the focus group discussions are located quite close to each other, there are still differences in how the process of immunization is implemented.
Being on the frontline means having direct access to the mothers, fathers and caregivers who make health decisions. These workers must have the right resources and training to be effective advocates for immunization. People rate health professionals as the most important source of information for decisions on health, according to a recent European survey described in the journal “Eurosurveillance”.