Giving a child a shot at life

Posted on | september 23, 2011 | 1 Comment

Saving a the life of a child is truly simple, yet all too often children suffer and die needlessly. This year alone across the globe some two million children will die from preventable diseases. These children will suffer and die from diseases that here in the United States are nothing more than a faded memory, all because they did not get a shot.

Every 20 seconds a child dies of a vaccine-preventable disease, as one in five children across the globe does not have access to the life-saving immunizations needed to survive childhood. Millions of children are then left disabled or killed by preventable diseases like pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and polio every decade. The two most widely spread childhood killers for those under five years-old are pneumonia and diarrhea, which account for more than one-third of childhood deaths worldwide. Yet while millions of children die each year, vaccines are one of the most cost-effective ways to save and improve children’s lives.

Nonetheless, while there is a long way to go, progress has been made in the last decade. According to the United Nations, coordinated global vaccination efforts have allowed more than one billion children in 60 developing countries to be immunized against measles since 2001, decreasing world measles deaths by 78 percent. In the past 20 years, more than 2.5 billion children have been vaccinated against polio worldwide, and today, the world is nearly free of this global killer…however it does continue to remain such as seen by the recent outbreaks in countries such as Pakistan and Kenya.

Thankfully in an effort to increase global immunizations and awareness the United Nations Foundation has recently launched a new campaign, the Shot@Life campaign educates, connects and empowers U.S. citizens to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save children’s lives around the globe.

Boosting childhood immunization rates over the next decade in 72 of the world’s most impoverished countries would save some 6.4 million lives, and result in long-term gains in productivity valued at between $151 billion and $231 billion, according to two studies by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Together, these two studies … show why foundations and governments everywhere should make investments in vaccination a top priority,” said Orin Levine, director of the university’s International Vaccine Access Center (The John Hopkins University Gazette).

AUTHOR: Cassandra Clifford
URL: www.bridgetofreedomfoundation.org and http://children.foreignpolicyblogs.com
E-MAIL: Cassandra [at] btff.org

Comments

One Response to “Giving a child a shot at life”

  1. PJ
    september 25th, 2011 @ 01:05

    After much research it would appear these vaccines are actually to sterilize

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