I traveled to the country of Zambia with Shot@Life, an organization that works to support the U.N. Foundation and their vaccine-partners around the globe. They work to combat four of the world’s most deadly and disabling diseases: measles, polio, pneumonia and diarrhea.
I traveled the beautiful country for several days with the Shot@Life team and other bloggers. We were able to see the impact of life-saving vaccines first-hand. These are some of the people I met and here are their stories.
Tina 26, and Joseph, 3 years.
Today, little Joseph had abdominal pains and diarreah. Together, mom and son walked 2 hours to get to the nearest clinic to be treated. Joseph likes singing and Tina would like him to be a doctor.
Kelfiser, 24 and David, 1 yr.
Kelfiser walked 6 kilometers today. She travels to this clinic to get immunizations for David because “it protects children to grow healthy,” the young mother said.
Jennifer, 18 and Loveness, 8 months.
Jennifer walked 1 hour with Loveness today. You wouldn’t know it by her smiling face, but she has had diarreah. Soon, Jennifer will walk with Loveness back to this clinic for her 9 month immunizations.
“I hope she grows well so she can take care of me,” Jennifer said with a laugh.
Isaac traveled 54 kilometers on a motorbike with his four year old grandaughter who is sick. He has 13 children and 6 grandchildren. Traveling to receive care and immunizations is a major obstacle many people in rural Zambia face, but many walk those long hours because they know the importance.
We met Inaessa while visiting a local hospital. She was waiting with other relatives to visit a loved one receiving care at the hospital. She has five children between the ages 1-18 and is a single parent. Her oldest child wants to be a nurse. Inaessa said, “I had all of my children immunized to protect them from a lot of diseases.”
Selinachile has 4 children and 8 grandchildren. She walks 5 kilometers to help at this clinic almost everyday for the past 2 years. At this clinic she says that there are too many patients and not enough space. In her lifetime, she has witnessed the measels and has seen kids die from it.
Annie and Chairman Robson
Annie is the nurse at the Mululu clinic and Robson is the chairman of the village, both have been a part in bringing life-saving vaccines to this area. Many things can hinder the ability to provide care and vaccinations. At this clinic they sometimes lack power or run out of vaccines. If there is an emergency, it takes an ambulance 3 hours to get there.
See how you can become a champion for children in Zambia and around the globe.