Last Wednesday evening, I attended a cocktail for the launch of a United Nations Foundation campaign called Shot@Life. Mothers are dying around the world from pregnancy and pregnancy related complications, but children are also dying from lack of access to vaccinations.
“Shot@Life educates, connects and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries. A national call to action for this global cause, the campaign rallies the American public, members of Congress, and civil society partners around the fact that together, we can save a child’s life every 20 seconds by expanding access to vaccines. By encouraging Americans to learn about, advocate for, and donate vaccines, the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign will decrease vaccine-preventable childhood deaths and give children a shot at a healthy life.”
If you weren’t aware, children are dying from diseases such as measles, pneumonia, polio and diarrhea. And if you didn’t know, vaccination efforts have already made a difference. The Measles Initiative has vaccinated one billion children in 60 developing countries since 2001, decreasing world measles deaths by 78 percent. The world is 99 percent polio-free, and polio eradication is within reach.
•1 in 5 children around the world doesn’t have access to the vaccines they need
• a child dies every 20 seconds in developing countries of a disease that can be prevented.
• The number of children dying every year from preventable diseases in developing countries is nearly the equivalent to half the children entering kindergarten in the U.S.
• two of the most common causes of child death–pneumonia and diarrhea–can be prevented by existing vaccines.
• Expanding access to vaccines can prevent an additional 1.7 million deaths a year.
So the United Nations Foundation and Shot@Life is using social media and the power of moms to get the word out. 70% of all unvaccinated children live in just 10 developing countries.