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.
Dec 26, 2016

World Pneumonia Day

November 11, 2016 was World Pneumonia Day. Shot@Life recognized this important day along with other vaccine partners, using the hashtag #StopPneumonia. Pneumonia – a lung infection caused by bacteria, viruses and, more rarely, fungi – is the number one cause of death in children worldwide. Every year an estimated 156 million new cases of pneumonia and nearly 2 million deaths from the disease occur in children under 5 years of age.  The impact of this disease is not distributed equally between populations – the poorest and most marginalized children bear the brunt of the effects, with 99% of pneumonia deaths occurring in developing countries.  Fortunately, pneumonia is preventable and there are steps people around the world can take to reduce the global burden of pneumonia.

  • Exclusive Breastfeeding – Not only does breast milk promote sensory and cognitive development in infants, it can also protect them against infectious disease.  At birth, a baby’s immune system is relatively fragile and sensitive, but through breastfeeding they can acquire passive immunity from their mothers.  The antibodies present in breastmilk help protect against disease causing bacteria and viruses until the baby can produce their own antibodies. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of a newborn’s life.
  • Vaccination – Vaccines are effective against some of the main causes of pneumonia. Two vaccines against bacterial pathogens – Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) – are currently available in many countries worldwide. If these two vaccines were given to all children, they could prevent more than half of the world’s cases of pneumonia.
  • Good Hygiene – The germs that cause pneumonia can easily be spread through person-to-person contact.  Good hygiene practices, which include thorough and frequent hand washing, coughing or sneezing into an elbow or sleeve instead of hands, and avoiding interaction with those who are sick can reduce the risk of developing the infection.
  • Reducing Air Pollution – In developing countries, one of the biggest threats to respiratory health is closer to home than many would imagine.  Currently, around three billion people cook and heat their homes using open fires and simple stoves.  The reduction of indoor air pollution in low-resource areas is seen as one of the strongest factors in reducing pneumonia-related morbidity and mortality.  Organizations like The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstovesaim to improve lives through clean and efficient household cooking solutions.

Vaccinating children against pneumonia is vitally important. However, no one form of prevention is a panacea against pneumonia.  These strategies, when implemented together, can drastically reduce risk of infection and improve quality of life in children all over the world.

- See more at: http://shotatlife.org/2016/11/12/4-steps-developing-nations-can-take-prevent-pneumonia/#sthash.zeGN5URx.dpuf

Oct 2, 2016

Shot@Life's Race to Erase

Thanks to the work of our UN partners, the world has made great strides towards ending polio and the disease has dropped 99.9% since 1988. However the world was saddened and surprised by a recent polio outbreak in Nigeria, which had previously been polio-free for nearly two years. The disease also remains endemic in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The news of the recent polio outbreak serves as an important reminder that until every last child is vaccinated against polio, the disease will continue to pose a threat to the world. Now more than ever, we need to act.

This fall, Shot@Life is engaging all of our supporters in polio eradication efforts and that’s challenging each and every one of you to get out there and help us defeat polio for good through joining our Race to Erase, Shot@Life’s fall coast-to-coast activation. Starting today and in the lead up to World Polio Day, Race to Erase will challenge supporters to stand up to help protect kids from polio and eradicate this debilitating disease by fundraising and advocating to your members of Congress. 

What’s Race to Erase?

It is a 5K Run or Walk (or any other activity you desire) during the countdown to World Polio Day on October 24, 2016. 

If you want to join us:

Poliovirus is fast, but we can be faster.

It’s that simple. Find out more here.

Jul 5, 2016

The Switch

Image Courtesy of GPEI
Image Courtesy of GPEI

A major global health event recently is set to take place. Between April 17 and May 1 155 countries will withdraw one oral polio vaccine and roll out—or “switch to”—another. This synchronized vaccine switch is unprecedented in both its scale and its speed.

What It Is

Countries that are currently using the oral polio vaccine (OPV) to protect children from polio will switch from using the trivalent oral polio vaccine, which includes live, but weakened strains from all three types of poliovirus (types 1, 2, and 3) and is delivered via two liquid drops in the mouth, to a bivalent vaccine that is delivered in the same way but includes strains from just 2 types of poliovirus: types 1 and 3. The type 2 strains of the virus are being removed from the vaccine because this type has been declared eradicated, meaning that it is no longer in existence anywhere on earth.

What It Means

The switch demonstrates just how close we are to eradicating polio once and for all. We have already eradicated one type of the virus, and the last case of wild poliovirus type 3 was seen over 3 years ago. Additionally, by removing the type 2 strain from the vaccine, we are also removing the risk of this vaccine strain causing the rare instances of vaccine-derived polio that we’ve seen in the past. We are truly closing in on all aspects of this crippling disease.

How You Can Get Involved

Learn more: This is just a brief overview of the switch, but there is so much more! To learn more about polio vaccines, why the switch is necessary, and why it’s important to keep using oral polio vaccines until we eradicate polio, watch these short videos produced by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Advocate: Financing for the switch and for other crucial global health efforts wouldn’t be possible without people like you advocating for them and donating to the cause. We need your help to end this disease.

Tweet this: We are so close to #endpolio. Please support giving children around the world a @ShotatLife #vaccineswork

And please spread the word by sharing this post!

 
   

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