Sometimes when I nurse Asa, I sit on the couch and prop my laptop up on the arm of the couch. I’ll watch twitter updates or maybe a vlog or two. A few days ago I sat down to catch up on some information from Pampers about Salma Hayek’s visit to Sierra Leone. She was there to shine a little light (and press) on the ridiculous problem of infant deaths due to tetanus.
I’ve written a huge long post about tetanus before so I won’t go into it too much, other than to say—it is an UNNECESSARY disease. It could be eradicated in the world—each vaccine is just 5-7cents!
So, as I was sitting on the couch, nursing my sweet baby boy, I watched a Dateline special of Salma Hayek and Caryl Stern (President of UNICEF USA) visit a clinic in Sierra Leone. A clinic that does NOT have the vaccines for tetanus. There was seven day old baby that had tetanus–she was heavily sedated because of the pain. Minutes after they arrived, this baby girl died. The clinic did not have the anti-serum to save her. All they had was a vaccine for horses. So, they gave that to her. A HORSE VACCINE for a NEWBORN.
I’m shaking my head now. With tears in my eyes.
I read Caryl Stern’s blog post about her trip and you can feel her pain and her outrage. Here she is representing UNICEF and this clinic doesn’t even have a simple 7 cent vaccine to save this child! I had the opportunity to meet Ms. Stearn while I was in Cincinnati for the Pampers Mommy Blog Event and I’m telling you she genuinely aches for these children and mothers. She believes we can end these deaths with preventable causes.
Later in the video, Salma Hayek breastfeeds a sick baby. As I was sitting there watching children dying from tetanus and malnutrition, I was overwhelmed with emotion. Here I was nursing my own child while every 3 minutes a child dies from tetanus. It was just too much. Babies should not be dying. They should have mothers that can breastfeed and doctors that can heal.
I agree with Ms. Stearn and Salma Hayek—that we can eradicate tetanus. And by “we”, I mean WE. We get to be a part of actually saving lives! Lives that God knit together. Lives that will grow and develop and do something powerful for Him.
I hope you know that I’m not just posting about this because someone from Pampers emailed me. I am posting because I caught the passion that Caryl Stearn and the Pampers execs had about this campaign. If you’ve been around here you’ll know I am most passionate about helping kids grow up to love God. But they will never grow up to do so if they don’t live past their first week of life.
So, as Pampers and UNICEF relaunch their One Pack=One Vaccine program, I’m asking you to get involved. There are several easy ways to do so—and some of them don’t even require you to throw down a chunk of change. (This is another reason I don’t feel weird about asking you to get involved.):
- Buy specially marked packs of Pampers diapers and wipes. Each pack you buy gives one vaccine to a child or mother.
- Order a UNICEF/Pampers baby bodysuit. Use your Gifts To Grow points to get a special onesie–for each one ordered, a vaccine will be donated. (Asa’s is on the way! I can’t wait for him to wear it!)
- Donate your Gifts To Grow points to buy vaccines. I just donated 84!!
- Donate to UNICEF directly. You can do so via the purple widget in my sidebar.
- Spread the word! Copy one of these widgets and get the word out.
So, saving lives? That works for me.