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National recognition for Covid vaccination webinars

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A senior public health officer at Dudley Council has received a prestigious national award in recognition of her work during the pandemic.

Mayada Abuaffan, head of adults and older people's public health, has received the President’s Medal from The Faculty of Public Health (FPH), for hosting Covid -19 vaccination webinars for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities across the UK.

The FPH, an organisation of up to 4,000 public health professionals across the UK, makes the annual award in recognition of the outstanding contribution to public health policy and practice by a registered public health specialist.

Mayada was praised for her ‘outstanding contribution to FPH as the chair of the Sudan SIG (Special Interest Group) and for hosting the webinars for BAME communities.’

During the pandemic SIG supported the Covid response among BAME communities in the UK, with one of its main objectives to improve vaccine uptake for Sudanese and wider BAME communities in the UK through community engagement.

Mayada hosted a series of Covid- 19 question and answer sessions, many in Arabic for Arabic speaking BAME communities. Topics included updates on the pandemic, how to manage long term health conditions during the pandemic and a session for people who had recovered from covid to share their experiences.

In a letter announcing the award, president of the FPH Professor Maggie Rae said: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to recognise your work and to record my sincere thanks for your support and commitment to the faculty during this most challenging year for public health. It has been a privilege working with you.”

Mayada, who carries out this role in her own time, said:

This has been such a fantastic and unexpected surprise. I’m delighted to have received such an honour from the FPH.
Being a BAME myself I was concerned and saddened by the low vaccination uptake and high infection rates among BAME communities.
Working collaboratively with community groups and addressing concerns in native languages were instrumental in helping communities to make informed choices.”

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for public health said:

A huge congratulations to Mayada for this award.
I’m delighted she has been recognised for her incredible work during the pandemic and for raising awareness about the vaccine among BAME communities. We’re all extremely proud of her.”

The Faculty of Public Health (FPH) is a registered charity, whose role is to improve the health and wellbeing of local communities and national populations.

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