Last week I had the unenviable task of taking Little Bean and Beanie Boy to the Doctors for their jabs, for Little Bean it was time for her pre-school boosters and for Beanie Boy it was his 13 month boosters. Just one quick call to the surgery and our appointment was made, the following day I drove two minutes up the road to meet Daddy at the surgery. Daddy has never missed a jab yet for any of the children and we decided that so as not to distress the other one, we would take a child each in to see the nurse for their respective jabs. Daddy went first with Little Bean who needed a jab in each arm, our poor little girl cried so much we could hear her in the waiting room but after big cuddles from Daddy and the promise of some new wellington boots she was happy again. Next came Beanie Boy’s turn who had to have three jabs in total, two in one leg and one in the other. Not surprisingly he cried his little heart out and sobbed onto my shoulder for a while afterwards but within 10 minutes we had said goodbye to Daddy and were choosing new Wellington boots as promised. All in all our trip to the surgery took less than 45 minutes and that includes shopping at Tesco, once upon a time I would probably have taken that for granted but after spending time with Unicef a few weeks ago I knew that we were one of the lucky ones.
In some of the world’s most remote places there are estimated to be approximately 130million women still at risk from Maternal and Newborn Tetanus. In Northern China some communities are so remote they can only be accessed by bicycle, animal driven cart or by foot and when you consider that vaccines need to be stored between 3-5 degrees in order for them to be effective its a tough job in the Indonesian heat. All the Health Workers have to keep the vaccines cool is a cool box but we all know how quickly our lunch becomes warm on a day trip in the UK!
In Afghanistan women will cross open fire areas in order to reach their nearest health clinic in an attempt to get vaccinations for themselves and their babies. Because of religious beliefs the women here can only be treated by women which is also a huge drain on resources. Unicef have a tough job but they are not about to give in. It is their aim to rid the world of maternal and newborn tetanus but they can’t do it alone, they need our help.
Women will travel for hours and sometimes days, by foot if necessary, to attend a health clinic with their children to get those all-important jabs or just to visit a health worker for help and advice. Sometimes their journey can be for nothing as the Health Workers have run out of the life-saving vaccines.
The Unicef team will use these meetings with Mums as an opportunity to check over the children for any underlying health issues and as an opportunity to educate the parents in the need to sleep under a mosquito net to protect them from contracting malaria. In some of these families, they already own a mosquito net but the husband will sleep under this whilst the mother and children are left exposed.
These are just some of the things that you can do to help:
- Make a difference by choosing the specially marked pack of Pampers – 1 pack = 1 vaccine
- To connect with other mums,simply “Like” the Pampers Facebook page – 1 like = 1 vaccine
- For all the Miffy fans out there,go to the Pampers Village website and personalise your very own Miffy book for your little one – 1 read = 1 vaccine
- Download the free Pampers App and find baby friendly locations in your area – 1 download = 1 vaccine