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Plan's Expertise Highlighted at Premier Health Forum

Saturday, November 7, 2009 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 Plan International, a leading children's development organization with offices in 66 countries around the world, has been asked to deliver eight presentations on children's health and well-being at the upcoming American Public Health Association's (APHA) Annual Meeting & Exposition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 7-11, 2009.

The American Public Health Association gathers organizations together to address current and emerging health science, policy, and practice issues in an effort to prevent disease and promote health globally. The Annual Meeting is a premier event that is expected to attract more than 13,000 doctors, nurses, administrators, researchers, epidemiologists, and other health professionals.

Luis Tam, Plan USA's Senior Public Health Advisor, who organized Plan's participation and submissions to APHA, says, "he's honored that so many of Plan's experts have been given the opportunity to share their experience and work at such a premier forum in the field of public health."

Health experts from Plan USA and several of Plan's international program offices, including Malawi, Indonesia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Colombia, and Uganda, will discuss the unique child-centered methodology behind Plan's many successes in the areas of HIV/AIDS, Tsunami recovery, malaria, nutrition, and water and sanitation.

Plan works to integrate physical, mental and psychosocial elements of health and development into each program. In Senegal, for example, in a district where between 2006 and 2008 Plan implemented a community-based strategy to reduce malaria-related deaths in children, and rates dropped from 39% to 0%.

In Sierra Leone, over 2,500 youth were trained through clubs, sport, and street theater in how to better prevent malaria-related illness and mortality in their communities. Because of their efforts, community-wide participation in malaria prevention shot up from a very low percentage to 80%.

"At Plan, we believe public health strategies that include the participation of children and the entire community, have a greater chance of yielding positive results, especially for the long term," says Tam.

Another Plan project helped a largely illiterate community in Cameroon create their own health system by using maps to represent individual households. Community members were better able to track existing health issues, monitor the progress, and take steps to solve the problems.

Founded more than 70 years ago, Plan is a child-centered nonprofit with no religious or political affiliations. Plan works in 48 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas, empowering millions of children, families, and communities to lift themselves out of poverty using methods that are innovative, cost-effective, and sustainable.

SOURCE Plan USA
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