Celebrities speak up for health

October 9, 2009 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

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It takes a famous voice, face or name to catch people’s attention. It takes a celebrity to increase awareness. Which is why these three ladies are using their celebrity status to educate the people on health issues in these public service announcements.

Jennifer Lopez for Sounds of Pertussis

Jennifer Lopez, actress, singer, and mother is the spokesperson for Sounds of Pertussis, a campaign supported by the vaccine maker sanofi pasteur. In this spot, Lopez is appealing to the public, especially parents to get vaccinated against pertussis or whooping cough. Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease that can be fatal for infants. It creates a sticky, thick mucus in the airways that makes it hard to breathe, eat, and drink. Pertussis is also known as whooping cough because people with the disease often make a loud “whoop” sound as they struggle to breathe through their narrowed airways between coughing spasms.

Symptoms of pertussis in adults can be mild and would be mistaken for a cold or bronchitis. However, adults can transmit the bacteria to little babies where pertussis symptoms can be serious, even fatal. In the US, more than 10,000 cases of pertussis were reported in 2007.

Take Charge with Fran Drescher

Actress Fran Drescher is the face of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) campaign Be in Charge of your Health. Drescher is a survivor of uterine cancer and is best known for her role as Nanny Fran in the TV series “The Nanny.” Here’s what Drescher has to say in one the AHRQ video spots:

“Hi, I’m Fran Drescher and I’ve got a question for you. Who’s in charge of your health care? It took two whole years to correctly diagnose my cancer. I learned that asking lots of questions may help prevent disease or catch cancer early when it’s easier to treat. Talk to your doctor and bring someone with you to help. For all the questions you need to ask, go to ahrq.gov because it’s your life, and you’re in charge of your health.”

Chandra Wilson for Treat with Care

Actress and mother Chandra Wilson is the celebrity that is spreading the word for the public service announcements for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA). The campaign called Treat with Care aims to educate parents on the safe use of children’s cough and cold medicines. According to Wilson, who plays a surgeon in the TV series “Grey’s Anatomy”

As parents, we’re in charge of our children’s health, and as a mother of three, I take this responsibility very seriously. Many of us rely on OTC cough and cold medicines to help our children feel better when they’re sick. It is our job as parents to understand how to safely do so, and I am excited to be working on such an important effort promoting the safe and appropriate use of these medicines.”

For more information about this campaign, check out www.otcsafety.org

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