All Children Deserve a Shot@Life

I was on a conference call a few weeks ago with the United Nations Foundation who spoke with Mocha Moms across the country encouraging us to educate our communities on the importance of the Shot@Life campaign initiative. Of course a movement such as this pulled at my heart strings which is why I am educating you on the importance of helping children out across the globe. 

Just the other day, a note came home from my daughter’s school informing me that she had been exposed to Scarlet Fever a few days prior.  Not knowing then what I know now about the disease, I freaked out.  Yes. I. Did.  I only recalled a movie being made about it, Scarlet Letter, and people dying from it. I know now that apparently Scarlet Fever is similar to Strep Throat which my children have never had.  Thank God.  Apparently many of my friends have had it as children and have all recovered from it a few days after being infected.  I don’t believe this is an illness our children are vaccinated against, but imagine if it were.  American children will be safe and sound from it because we have access to vaccinations.  Children in developing countries do not have access to vaccinations and nearly 50% of them, equivalent to the number of American children entering Kindergarten, die annually and never make it to Kindergarten.  Wouldn’t you agree that every child deserves a shot at life?

The Shot@Life campaign states that 75% of unvaccinated children live in just 10 countries. For children in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, China, Uganda, Chad and Kenya, access to vaccines mean the difference between life and death, a healthy life or a lifetime of struggle. Which countries have you visited?  How quickly did YOU recover from that bout of diarrhea after eating a not-so-friendly-to-your-tummy delicacy in a one of these countries? Did you expose any children to any of the diseases that could potentially kill them?
If your child wasn’t sent home the very first day of school because his/her medical records were incomplete, it’s likely because you were able to have your child vaccinated prior to the first day of school.  Children in developing countries are no different than our children.  They just happen to live in a country that is unable or chooses not to make immunizing children a priority or can’t afford the funding necessary to immunize communities.  Let's do something about it.  

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