Sunday, December 15, 2013

This Season Celebrate and Give the Gift of Life

   Little Fiona from Uganda      
I am a wife, a mother, an educator and a former nurse from Mexico.  I champion, support, and advocate for Shot@Life to make sure children around the world have all the vaccines and health care needed to grow to celebrate their 5th birthday, grow older go to school.  Here is Fiona, from Uganda who with her siblings and other children will benefit from our efforts.

Mothers all around the world have the same dreams and hopes for their children.  They want their children to be healthy and protected from harm, especially bodily harm. They want them to live to have many birthdays. These mothers worry about childhood illnesses that can take the lives of their children.  These include diseases like polio, measles, diarrhea and pneumonia.  Can you believe that pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children worldwide?
At this time of the year I see friends and know of people who catch pneumonia.  Already this year some of my friends got so sick that they needed to go to the hospital; and others had symptoms not so aggressive but still had “walking pneumonia”. Almost every year my husband has walking pneumonia, and it pains me too, when I see how miserable he feels.

Pneumonia is a condition in the lungs where the lung tissue gets infected. Breathing becomes difficult and oxygen can’t pass through the lungs into the bloodstream.

In the hills of Taxco, Mexico
It is difficult enough to see an adult suffering from pneumonia, but it is heart-breaking when you see a child with pneumonia.  It is still worse, especially, if that child is in a little clinic in a developing country, where little help can be offered.  Have you ever seen such a child with pneumonia?  I have.  These poor children burn with fever, their teeth chatter with chills, and their little bodies shake uncontrollably. You see them breathing fast & shallow and short of breath, while complaining of chest pain and coughing green mucus (sputum), sometimes tinged with red, from their lungs. Children with pneumonia also have fits of diarrhea and vomiting, and overall feel miserable every second they are sick. 

Tlamacazapan, Gro.
The impact of pneumonia is at its worst among the poorest and most marginalized countries where most children are malnourished.  Many are also infected with HIV while living in poor or remote communities, which is where it is most likely for a child to become infected with pneumonia.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) pneumonia kills an estimated 1.1 million children under the age of five every year.

Facts about pneumonia:

  • Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children worldwide.
  • Pneumonia kills an estimated 1.1 million children under the age of five every year         – more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
  • Pneumonia can be caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi.
  • Pneumonia caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics, but only 30% of children with pneumonia receive the antibiotics they need.
  • Pneumonia can be prevented by immunization, adequate nutrition and by addressing environmental factors.
Shot@Life’s mission is to ensure that children everywhere are given access to the vaccines that can save their lives from pneumonia, rotavirus (diarrhea), measles and polio.

Mom and child in the streets of Queretaro, Mexico
Can you help me this Holiday season to give the gift of life and protection for a child from the two most deadly diseases - pneumonia and polio? Your $5.00, $10.00, $15.00, $20.00 - or whatever you decide to donate - will help a family like yours to receive the best Christmas present this year: a healthy life for their children!  No mother deserves the pain of the loss of her child to something as simple to treat like diarrhea or pneumonia; not when we have the opportunity, tools & technology to save their life.  It only takes $20 per child to receive all of the vaccines they will need!  Just think, only $20 for a child’s healthy lifetime… Little by little, one child at a time, we can help eradicate these diseases together.  

Here’s where you can begin to make a difference: Shot@Life & Global Solutions

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