Jan 17, 2013

The Gift of Life


I’m just back from Africa where, between visits to rural villages and health centers, I had the chance to reunite with the Kenyan family that hosted me during a study abroad trip in 1987. The kids I met there – like me – are now adults with kids of their own. Hearing their stories and seeing their kids reminds me how important it is that every child, everywhere has access to life-saving vaccines.  

The youngest boy, Ethan, will turn two in February. He was born on the very day that, with support from the GAVI Alliance, Kenya introduced a new pneumonia vaccine into their immunization program. Over lunch in Nairobi recently, the boys’ mom remarked that Ethan’s brother, Enrique, had two bouts of pneumonia in his first 2 years, yet Ethan has had none.  

For most of us in the United States, few parents worry that pneumonia could take the life of their baby. Our children are generally well-nourished, completely vaccinated, and have access to hospitals and treatments. I think that’s why Americans are always so surprised when I tell them that pneumonia kills more children than any other illness. They also react with frustration when I point out that, for just a few dollars, these children’s lives can be saved and their parents spared the trauma of losing a child.

Will you join me and make a $20 donation to protect a child in a developing country against deadly but preventable diseases like pneumonia?



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Project Leader

Meg Cleghorn

Washington, District of Columbia United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Shot@Life