Each year, almost 9 million children around the world under the age of five die from preventable diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria. In a campaign that begins today in Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) is partnering with the Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) to raise awareness for the immunization of children around the world.
Through a new program, "Breakthrough for Child Survival in the Poorest Countries and America's Cities," the partnership aims to educate the Baltimore public about the life-saving importance of child immunizations. Baltimore was selected by GAVI as the first city to participate in this campaign because of previous success in notably boosting its immunization coverage. Every day, GAVI and Hopkins work together to reduce child mortality through immunization. Since 2000, GAVI has vaccinated more than 250 million children and averted 5.4 million deaths in 72 of the world's poorest countries.
Today's event begins with a keynote address by U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings (MD) and features presentations by Hopkins, state, and city representatives. JHUSON assistant professor Elizabeth Beth Sloand, PhD, CRNP, Department of Acute and Chronic Care, will serve as one of the campaign spokespersons. Her work as a nurse educator, researcher, and community care provider focuses on uninsured and underinsured children and youth both in East Baltimore and in Haiti and other Caribbean nations.
Following the morning presentations, site visits will occur at the following locations:
- Harriet Lane Clinic -- The Harriet Lane clinic has served the children of East Baltimore for over 100 years. The clinic works cooperatively with the city as a child health clinic, but is particularly known for its work in immunization.
- House of Ruth -- Homeless families find health and day care as well as shelter at the community-based House of Ruth center. JHU nursing staff help children receive immunizations and use ImmuNET to ensure a record of their care goes with them.
- TIKE (To Immunize Kids Everywhere) Van and Eastern District Health Center -- Area residents depend on the City of Baltimores Eastern District Health Center as well as the TIKE van for vaccination and other health services.