URC 2014 Photography Contest Winner - Mizeal Shanta

Mizeal Shanta, Outreach Advisor for the USAID Primary Health Care Project in Iraq (PHCPI), submitted the Grand Prize-winning photo in URC's 2014 Photography Contest. The photo shows a health provider from a primary health care clinic (PHCC) in Maysan Province, in southern Iraq, delivering information on patients' rights to a group of men who have been collecting salt from the rural area's dried marshes.

PHCPI provides PHCCs with promotional materials and training skills in order to increase community awareness—especially hard to reach, uneducated and vulnerable groups—of the primary health care services available to them and their right to access that care.

PHCPI began in 2011 to support the Ministry of Health (MoH) to strengthen the delivery of quality primary health care throughout the country. Iraq's recent history, marked by periods of intense conflict, has led PHCPI to change its focus as different needs arise. Not only has the project advanced primary health care in line with Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 (reducing child mortality and improving maternal health), but it has also reached out and provided basic health care to internally displaced persons (IDPs), particularly pregnant women, children, and the elderly, and responded to a recent measles outbreak by working closely with the MoH to improve immunization efforts.

Another effective way to reach IDPs, people with lower levels of education, and other hard-to-reach populations in this volatile region is through mass media. Recently, PHCPI broadcast a number of public service announcements on television and radio about important activities such as pre-natal care for women, breastfeeding, preventing diarrhea in infants, and vaccination for children. These vulnerable populations will greatly benefit from the services provided by primary health care clinics that target vaccine-preventable diseases, like polio and measles, as well as hygiene-related illnesses, such as cholera and diarrhea.

Congratulations to Mizeal and the PHCPI team for their great work!

Date 
November 06, 2014
Authors 
Sabina Behague, Communications Specialist
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