Mothers in the United States do not have to worry about if their child will be able to receive the necessary vaccines to keep the child alive. In fact, American mothers worry more about if to give their kids vaccines (or at what time and in which combination).
But what if vaccines were not so plentiful? What if insurance companies did not cover the prohibitive costs? What if the majority of the people around the child are not vaccinated themselves?
This is the case in many developing countries around the world, where one in five children lacks access to necessary immunizations that ensure healthy children in the United States.
In fact, 1.7 million children will die this year from diseases that are virtually non-existent in the US. For these children, vaccines are truly life-giving entities.
In order to help these children get the immunizations they need, the United Nations Foundation will launch the [email protected] campaign during World Immunizations Week, which begins April 22, 2012.
[email protected] is an initiative to help curb the number of children who die each year from preventable diseases like polio, diarrhea, pneumonia, and measles.
The two biggest killers of children under the age of five, diarrhea and pneumonia, are easily treated in America, but account for more than one-third of childhood deaths worldwide.
The UN Foundation estimates that 75 percent of children who are not vaccinated live in just 10 countries, all on the continents of African and Asia. These countries include India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, China, Uganda, Chat and Kenya.
Children who live in these countries are surrounded by a population that is generally not immunized, so outbreaks of deadly diseases can occur. Without being vaccinated against these diseases, these children are at a high risk of dying.
The [email protected]campaign aims to work with Americans to raise funds and awareness about the issue of childhood vaccinations in developing countries. They want more children around the world to have a shot at more “firsts” in their lives.
From first teeth to first days of school to first loves, children everywhere should be able to count on a shot at being able to celebrate the wonderful “firsts” American children may take for granted.
The [email protected] website explains why this issue, creating a healthier world, should be important to all Americans: “Expanding access to vaccines strengthens our ability to fight disease globally and keep our families healthy here at home, while improving economic stability around the world.”
ShotatLife.org. Web. 22 April 2012. “Learn”.
UNFoundation.org. Web. 22 April 2012. “Campaigns and Initiatives: Shot at Life”. http://www.unfoundation.org/what-we-do/campaigns-and-initiatives/shot-at-life
Reviewed April 23, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith