United Nations Foundation

The UN Foundation was created in 1998 with businessman and philanthropist Ted Turner's historic $1 billion gift to support United Nations' causes. The UN Foundation promotes a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world through the support of the United Nations. Through new and innovative public-private partnerships, advocacy and grantmaking, the UN Foundation acts to meet the most pressing health, humanitarian, socioeconomic, and environmental challenges of the 21st century.
Aug 7, 2012

We cannot stop here

Anne Geddes Photograph
Anne Geddes Photograph

As the Global Advocate for Shot@Life, I have some exciting news. Since the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life Campaign launched Blogust — a first-of-its kind, 31-day relay of inspirational blog posts through the month of August, the response has been incredible. I’m joining this initiative, along with some of the most influential online voices, to save as many lives as we can over 31 days.

Here’s how it works. 31 bloggers will each post on a day in August, to interview or feature one of their own — someone who’s given them a deep sense of community and support. Every comment on each post initiates a $20 donation — and all it takes is $20 to immunize a child with 4 essential life-saving vaccines. We reached our initial goal of 1,500 comments ($30,000 that was made available for this blog relay, which will now give 1,500 children a shot at life!) in only 6 days.
 
But we cannot stop here. It breaks my heart, as I’m sure it does yours, to think that a child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that is entirely preventable by a vaccine. Think about it — that’s 2 to 3 children dying in the time it takes you to read this message. I believe that every child, regardless of their circumstances, deserves a shot at a long and healthy life. Unfortunately, many children today simply do not have access to life saving vaccinations.
 
Join me to ensure the Blogust relay continues through the month of August, to continue saving children’s lives. Help us by raising more money to provide vaccines for children in developing countries.
 
Blogust is an opportunity to help open the door to a future of firsts for these precious children…first visit by the tooth fairy, first birthday, first steps, first day at school — and a life to be lived to the fullest. Remember, just $20 can change a child’s life forever.
 
Join me to help make sure that all children live to reach their full potential, as we gradually work towards eradicating these deadly diseases from the world forever. That’s the big goal!
 
Here’s your chance to make a difference. Give a child a shot at life.
 
 P.S. Tweet this! "We cannot stop here. Join me and @annegeddestweet! Keep #Blogust going through August. Continue saving children's lives http://bit.ly/PzF8Xo"

Anne Geddes and Shot@Life
Anne Geddes and Shot@Life

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Apr 5, 2012

How do you get to 100 percent?

Shot@Life in Honduras
Shot@Life in Honduras

Honduras, in the heart of Central America, is one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere, but it has one of the highest vaccination coverage rates in the world, averaging close to 99 percent.

Compare this to the United States, where 93 percent of children receive basic immunizations. Worldwide, about one child in five, primarily in developing countries like Honduras, lacks basic access to life-saving vaccines. What is the secret of Honduras’ success?

We wanted to see firsthand how Honduras has achieved such amazing results, so last week Shot@Life traveled there with a U.S. Congressional staff delegation to learn more about their extremely effective immunization programs.

As part of our itinerary, we drove an hour south of the capital city to the rural town of La Cañada. Our group was treated to a welcome celebration that featured traditional song and dance, a lively demonstration of the pride the residents have in their culture and community. The people of La Cañada are also very proud to tell visitors like us that every single child in La Cañada has been vaccinated.

This is no easy task. Vaccines need to be refrigerated and power can be unreliable. Medical care is provided by dedicated personnel all over the country, but facilities are often understaffed and many communities lack emergency care. People in rural areas may have to walk for hours to get to a clinic – sometimes carrying a sick child. Even getting clean drinking water is a challenge – only half of the residents of La Cañada have access to potable water.

So how is this success story possible?

Simply put, it’s a team effort that involves people throughout the community. Midwives who attend home births remind new parents to vaccinate their babies. The president of the student council educates fellow students about the importance of immunizations, who in turn inform their parents. Teachers give reminders at parent-teacher conferences. Police provide security and assist with timely vaccine delivery. Success builds upon success, and residents see the results of their efforts in healthier children and less prevalence of disease.

While such collaboration is remarkable, La Cañada’s story is quite typical in Honduras. This kind of success comes from the cooperation of international donors, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the GAVI Alliance, the Honduran Ministry of Health, the staff of the Expanded Program on Immunization, medical professionals, volunteers, the media, community leaders…the list goes on and on.

Everyone in Honduras is working together as a team to ensure that their children have a shot at a healthy life.

Only through that kind of teamwork will we get to 100 percent.

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