Before a keynote presentation by Devi Thomas from the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign, the thought had never crossed my mind that somewhere…out there…the death of a child is so common, so expected that mothers don’t cry when one dies. At least it is true in Sudan.
In a world where a 10-minute drive and a $20 copay provide my children with life-saving vaccinations, it’s hard to believe one child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that could have been prevented with an inexpensive vaccine.
Every 20 seconds.
We’re talking 1.5 million children…every year.
Shot@Life has started a movement to help ensure that children, no matter where they live, have access to life-saving vaccines. Without vaccines, children go unprotected from disabling and often deadly diseases like pneumonia, measles, diarrhea and polio. Fortunately vaccination efforts by organizations like Shot@Life are making a difference:
The Measles Initiative has vaccinated one billion children in 60 developing countries since 2001, decreasing world measles deaths by 74 percent. The world is 99 percent polio-free, and polio eradication is within reach.
A new oral vaccine for cholera, now made in India, will soon be more widely available to protect children under 5 for just $1 a dose. That’s the price of a large Diet Coke from McDonald’s.
I’m willing to give up a my drinking habit for a worthy cause. Anyone care to join me?
My little Livi is starting kindergarten this year. Imagine if half of all kindergarten children in the U.S. didn’t show up for school the first day. That is about the number of children dying every year from preventable diseases in developing countries.
It’s a very sobering statistic.
Those kinds of statistics get me thinking about my children’s lives compared to the lives of children in developing countries. Take last night for example. As I heard the sounds of fun and frolic from the upstairs bathroom indicating a nighttime bubble bath, I realized this milestone—a baby’s first real bubble bath, mountains of bubbly goodness included—would be missed by a million and a half children this year.
Sometimes when I think of it that way I feel utterly and completely helpless. Even with all the money and resources in the world, I can’t protect every child.
But I can give quite a few a shot at life. And that’s a start.
If you’re ready to do the same, here’s how you can get involved:
- Visit Shot@Life.org to learn more about the campaign.
- Make a donation ($20 gives a child a lifetime of immunity from pneumonia, diarrhea, polio and measles but you can donate as little as $5).
- “Like” Shot@Life on Facebook.
- Follow Shot@Life on Twitter.
- Follow Shot@Life on Pinterest (love the infographics board).
You can also participate in Blogust 2012: Blog Relay for Good. For every day through the month of August, one blogger will post an inspirational piece. For every comment you make during the blog relay, $20 is donated to Shot@Life to immunize a child in a developing country.
One comment = one more shot at life.
Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t always earn you an extra entry in a giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies.