Looking at these little guys you might think they are darn cute! Pneumonia is especially cute in his peachy color and wobbly shape… but we all know, in reality, these two little guys are anything but cute.
If you live in the US, it is likely you don’t give polio a second thought because we haven’t seen it in many, many years. I was just talking with a friend about Shot@Life a couple of weeks ago and they were asking about my last trip to Washington, D.C.. I was telling her I was in DC advocating for the eradication of polio and she said, “I thought that was already gone?” This is the perception of many people in then US because we have been polio free for so long. However, it is still alive and moving around in other parts of the world and it is only 99% eliminated from the globe – we still have 1% to go!
While pneumonia is treatable and causes less deaths in the US every year, in other parts of the world it is a death sentence, especially to children under the age of five. My own son contracted pneumonia at the age of two. This was one of the most terrifying experiences I’ve ever gone through with my children. But I was lucky, I had access to a great hospital with lots of doctors and medications to help treat his illness. I couldn’t imagine what the outcome might have been if I lived in a developing country and didn’t have that sort of access. My hope is that no mother ever has to experience an undesirable outcome for something that could have been prevented.
So…what can we do to help eradicate polio, prevent pneumonia, and decrease the deaths of children in developing countries?
Well….I chose to support Shot@Life, a United Nations Foundation Campaign, that connects and empowers Americans to help protect children in developing countries from vaccine-preventable diseases. By joining this movement, I helped save a child’s life every 20 seconds! 2.5 million kids didn’t die this year because of vaccines. 2.5 MILLION! 1 in 5 children do not have access to life-saving vaccines. Imagine if nearly half the children enrolling in kindergarten this year in the United States were to die of diseases that can be prevented by a vaccine. That’s how many children die each year in developing countries because they don’t get the immunizations that they need.
So, back to how YOU can help save lives from the comfort of your own home (or computer)…
- Go to shotatlife.org/act to find ways to get involved
- Like us on Facebook
- Tweet us
- Watch us on YouTube
- Sign Shot@Life’s petition
- Most importantly, you can take a minute to contact your Congressional leaders to let them know you are passionate about providing vaccines to children in developing countries. To get more information on how to make that call, including key talking points, you can go to www.shotatlife.org/advocate
Through involvement in Shot@Life, you can give a child a lifetime of immunity from deadly diseases and a shot at a healthy childhood by voicing your support for vaccines, to help ensure that US government investments in vaccines continue to save lives.
So I encourage you to take, at the very least, one simple action from the list above to start helping to give kids a shot@enjoying the spring sunshine, flying kites, catching butterflies and ultimately, a Shot@Life.