A Note from our Founder: Reflections on 2022 and Renewed Hope for 2023
We begin the New Year with optimism about the continued progress toward controlling the protracted COVID pandemic. My hope is that the collaborations created and the lessons learned during this disruptive period have a positive impact on the future of global health. Our Digital Medic team looks forward to expanding our global footprint of accessible health education that drives improvements in health.
I am thankful to our growing network of passionate collaborators who have facilitated the exponential growth of our learners, including community members, their dedicated local health workers, and health professionals around the world. We have received gratifying feedback that our content is relevant, accessible, trusted, and impactful. Our recently developed Supporting Vaccination Toolkit for Community Health Workers (CHWs) provides essential knowledge and empathy-driven communication strategies to increase vaccine acceptance in their communities. To date, this content has been used by over 400,000 learners. The benefit of this toolkit will persist after the COVID pandemic as we must reduce all vaccine-preventable illness to pre-pandemic levels.
To address the increasing problem of vaccine hesitancy, often driven by misinformation, we were honored to work with Wuqu’ Kawoq | Maya Health Alliance and our colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco to understand and address vaccine hesitancy among Indigenous populations in Guatemala. We co-created and disseminated culturally and linguistically appropriate educational video content through social media and evaluated the impact on vaccine perceptions.
We will be redoubling our efforts to support CHWs through 2023, as their education and dedication are critical to the health of those they support. Created with the Community Health Impact Coalition, our Advocacy Training for Community Health Workers equips CHWs with the skills to share their personal stories and promote the health issues most important to their communities. In 2022 we released a complementary Facilitator Guide to assist with in-person and hybrid group learning sessions. The guide is available in English, French, and Spanish and is recommended for CHW trainers and supervisors.
As the need for COVID educational content wanes, we will turn our focus back to expanding our education and training content to the highest impact global health issues. Working with DG Murray Trust and other organizations in South Africa, the library of content addressing childhood stunting and other critical conditions impacting maternal and child wellness has been expanded. Our approach continues to be based on our firm belief that the success of any educational approach depends on community engagement with cooperative content creation and outcome evaluation. Because we are inspired by our core belief that access to health education is a human right, our content is distributed at no cost through various channels for viewing and sharing. Guidelines on how to do so are available here.
With appreciation to our collaborators and supporters for their trust in Digital Medic and admiration for those dedicated to the support of their communities.
Wishing a healthy and fulfilling 2023 for all readers.