Amidst a poliovirus outbreak in Papua New Guinea, legions of women health workers and leaders are playing a critical role in ensuring children are fully protected from lifelong paralysis. In the current emergency outbreak response, women have emerged as a strong, reliable, and decisive group that continue to administer key services in the outbreak response implementation.

From medical doctors to surveillance officers to community mobilizers to health workers, women are active and present on all fronts. World Immunization Week – celebrated in the last week of April – aims to encourage the use of vaccines as one of the safest methods to protect against diseases, including poliovirus.

This year’s theme – Protected Together: Vaccines Work! – highlights “heroes” who are ensuring that people of all ages, all across the world are protected through vaccines. Women on the frontlines of the outbreak response in Papua New Guinea are a fitting example of those who continue to inspire the public health community across the world.

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