A Quintet Call for Global Health Ambassadors
Ever wonder how would a masquerade ball look in our present-day world? Pay a visit to your local grocery store, and the fiesta of surgical masks will take you by wonder. It is undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced various aspects of our daily lives. From transforming every social gathering into a taboo to replacing perfumes by alcohol sprays, this viral kingdom has invaded our healthcare system with intentions to conquer. However, our frontliners assembled an invincible fortress powered by a rapid response to the medical needs of patients. In addition to providing effective treatment, healthcare practitioners were also keen to augment the impact of their outreach and protection by educating the community and raising awareness about the COVID-19 virus. In this way, they were actively building troops of local educated healthcare ambassadors in the community that are readily available and willing to propagate their knowledge to others.
Through the initiation of this domino effect, healthcare professionals have armed the community with the true immunity needed to battle COVID-19 and any other global pandemic. In fact, one of the positive impacts that COVID-19 has had on our society is the increased level of health literacy it invigorated. For instance, how many people did not previously know what CDC stands for? In comparison, how many parents nowadays have the CDC and WHO hotlines memorized or bookmarked for timely evidence-based information retrieval? As such, it is equally undeniable that COVID-19 has revealed unprecedented need to advocate for global public health through public education to render our healthcare system indomitable in the face of healthcare crises. In this article, you will explore five ways that you can utilize to become a healthcare ambassador yourself, advocate for global public health, and contribute to the improvement of your community’s healthcare system.
- Never Cease to Learn.
There are myriad learning opportunities roaming around you. However, with abundance comes the responsibility of ensuring accessibility. Therefore, take advantage of the vast availability of learning resources to explore all options and customize the most suitable one for you! Apply your chosen combination of filters until you secure a personalized educational resource that matches your needs and circumstances. From classic institutional education, online courses, workshops or conferences, reliable databases, to awareness campaigns, there are endless pathways you can take to gain a thorough insight into contemporary health issues. It all starts here. Just like you must secure your own mask before assisting others, educating oneself is the most fundamental step that forms the basis of becoming a global public health ambassador.
- Be Aware of Misconceptions—including your Own.
Being a member of the society often dictates the struggle of being bombarded with fallacies. At one point, differentiating between hardcore facts and disguised opinions becomes a challenge one must overcome. However, it is important that you remain aware of such misconceptions, including the ones you authored, and maintaining an open-minded attitude prior to approaching an educational resource. In other words, you must be ready to learn new facts that might either confirm or deny your previous knowledge. Remember: you are here to learn for the greater cause of propagating your knowledge to your peers and hopefully assist in eliminating their misconceptions too. Moreover, it is very easy to stumble upon false information online, therefore it is very important to choose your resources wisely to prevent the accumulation of further misconceptions. As such, never stop questioning!
- Contribute to Research.
Every scientific revelation we take for granted is a result of years of extensive research aimed at challenging preexisting knowledge and unearthing new discoveries. In fact, every educational resource previously suggested in this article is no more than a collection or an exhibition of research results designed to be more accessible to learners. Thus, one of the major ways of becoming a global public health ambassador lies within contributing to research projects. Assisting in data collection, analysis, interpretation of the results, writing of the manuscript, or even serving as a participant are all ways that you can involve yourself in the process of creating new knowledge to dissipate to learners.
- Educate Others.
Keep the cycle going, and let it never end with you. Upon exhausting the available resources to gain a better insight into a healthcare topic, your responsibility transforms to educating others around you. There are endless ways in which this can be accomplished. For instance, you can read to others, participate in awareness campaigns, direct your peers to reliable information resources, eliminate common misconceptions circulating among your community members, share your learning experiences with others, encourage them to learn, and most importantly, motivate them to teach. You will be surprised at the exponential growth your contribution will have on multiple generations.
- Donate for a Cause.
Above and beyond all the aforementioned ways in which you can become a global public health ambassador, one of the most practical methods is represented in the form of donations. However, it is important to note that donations are not interchangeably used with money. As such, there is not one predefined form of helping. Although you can conveniently choose to donate money to an educational institution or an organization aimed at raising awareness, you can choose to donate your time by volunteering with one or your efforts by linking your community members to educational institutions.
At the end, in this article, you have been exposed to five different methods of becoming a global public health ambassador for the overall aim of improving your community’s healthcare system. The main aim of this article was to prove that you do not have to be a healthcare professional to advocate for global public health. Afterall, it is called “global” for a reason.