Due to the conflict in central and northern Mali, there has been an influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) seeking refuge in their region of Ouelessebougou. Women like Mariam were forced to flee from their homes and take their children on the long-trek south to find safety. Several of the Ouelessebougou Alliance's partner villages have opened up their communities and allowed these IDP families, mostly led by women, to settle on their land.
Mariam shared with us her struggles and those of the others who recently settled in the village of Sounsounkoro. "We came to Ouelessebougou with nothing, but we are anxious to build a future here," she said. "Our biggest concerns are for our children. We want them to lead a healthy and safe life."
We know that childhood vaccinations are the best chance for a Malian child's survival. One in ten children in Mali dies before the age of five of preventable diseases. There is an increased risk for internally displaced children, whose families do not have access to healthcare.
This is why Ouelessebougou Alliance's vaccination program is so important. We invest in a locally operated, multi-year vaccination program to ensure that more children under the age of five survive. Our program reaches the most vulnerable in Ouelessebougou, a rural region of villages that is continually underserved by the government. We provide vaccinations FREE of charge to children under the age of 5 that protect them from diseases such as yellow fever, measles, and tuberculosis.
We are committed to expanding our efforts to include immunizations for children of Internally Displaced Persons who have settled in our partner villages. By investing in their children's health and providing routine vaccinations, together we can give them a brighter future.
As COVID-19 spreads throughout the world, immunization efforts must continue to prevent outbreaks of other diseases and their deadly impact. Maintaining routine childhood immunizations is critically important during the pandemic. We must safeguard children from increased risk of vaccine-preventable diseases. Our collective attention may be on the development and distribution of the coronavirus vaccine, but it does not erase the pervasive need for immunizations in third-world countries like Mali.
The WHO reported in 2018 that childhood vaccines save an estimated 2- 3 million lives worldwide and they substantially contributed to the reduction of the infant global mortality rate. We also know that many of the diseases that kill children in Mali are entirely preventable with only 45% of children in Mali receiving basic vaccinations and 14% receiving no vaccination at all. We can share research, statistics, and reports on why childhood immunizations in Africa are so important, but what really matters is the solution. What is to be done and how are we going to do it?
At the Ouelessebougou Alliance, our approach is very simple and can be summed up in one word: PARTNERSHIP. We partner with the Malian government and Ouelessebougou hospital to distribute routine vaccinations in areas that normally wouldn't receive them. Our goal is to reach as many children as we can. We work in 25 partner villages and we make sure that not only do they can have access to vaccinations for free. That means the vaccinator from the hospital will travel to these remote villages and work with our resident Health Agent to ensure that every child in need receives an immunization up to the age of 5 years old.
For many of us in different parts of the world, we may not think twice about when or how our child will get immunized. But in rural Ouelessebougou, this is not something the mothers take for granted. Many did not even understand the importance of routine vaccinations until the Alliance started training them. Others would not have the financial means to pay to travel to the hospital or pay the fee to vaccinate their child. We are humbled and grateful that our donors make it possible for us to distribute over 15,000 vaccines each year.
Please remember the need for immunizations in Mali -- and thank you for supporting this project. If you know of anyone else looking for a worthy cause, please consider sharing this report with them.
Teningini is our amazing Malian Program Manager who helps facilitate our mmunization program in rural Ouelessebougou. I met Teningnini's grandson during my trip to Mali back in January. She was thrilled to introduce me to the newest member of her family. What a sweet boy. And healthy...as you can see from those chubby cheeks!
Teningini and her family are fortunate. Because of Teningnini's long tenure with the Alliance, she has taught her daughters the importance of health, sanitation and nutrition. Teningnini's daughter lives in the capital city of Bamako where she and her son have access to adequate healthcare. Because of this, her baby boy has started receiving his routine childhood immunizations. He is being protected by preventable illness and disease.
Currently, every tenth child in Mali dies before the age of 5, while one in 33 newborns do not survive the first month of life. Only 45% of children in Mali receive all the basic vaccinations and 14% do not receive vaccinations at all, depriving them from protection from common childhood illnesses.
Because of the global pandemic, immunizations are more important than ever. Routine vaccinations safeguard children from contracting and spreading disease. Although some of these illnesses may seem to pose a minimal threat, the COVID-19 virus has shown us the wide-reaching impact of a disease that cannot be easily treated or prevented with a vaccine.
Vulnerable families in Ouelessebougou are limited to access to adequate healthcare and vaccinations. Without the Alliance's immunization program, many children would not be vaccinated. We partner with the hospital to provide vaccines in remote and rural villages -- FREE of charge. This is critical for the health and well-being of children ages 0 - 5.
For the cost of a fast food combo meal, one child in Ouelessebougou can be vaccinated from 9 diseases for $5. Thank you for your generosity and making it possible for us to help thousands. Please consider donating or helping us by sharing and spreading the word.
Millions of deaths are caused each year by preventable diseases in third world countries. Vaccinations are a proven resolution and also the most cost effective resolution that is availblae to these countries and their governments. However, in Mali the goverment continues to fail to keep up with the vaccinations and in the villages the families do not have the resources, funds and sometimes the healthcare knowledge to get vaccinations for their children. In Mali, specifically in rural areas infectious diseases contiues to be the number one reason for death.
When a child grows up economically disadvantaged and in great poverty they are at greater risk of disease. They most likely do not have access to clean water, are subjected to malnutrition and do not have access to good healthcare. This creates the domino effect; a viscious cycle. When a mother has access to vaccinations and the ability to vaccinate her child it automatically breaks that cycle. It gives her child a better chance at fighting off infectious disease. When a child is vaccinated, the child has a better chance of fighting off disease, of staying in school, of working and gaining employment and becoming a healthy and sucessful adult, thus boosting the economy.
In the rural communities villagers already face malaria which continues to take the lives of one out of every five children that are under the age of five. It is the number one cause of death among infants. We must continue to provide vaccinations to prevent the spread of other infectious diseases to give children the chance to survive in these rurual villages. Most recently we have seen the spread of a new deadly virus, COVID-19. It is now more important than ever to continue to vaccinate. The Alliance continues to partner with the government and 25 villages to provide vaccinations against nine deadly diseases to childrten under the age of five and expecting mothers. The cost to vaccinate a child, to save a life is $5 in Mali, West Africa. Please consider helping us continue to rasie money for vaccinations and prevent the spread of infectious disease.
Help Ouelessebougou Alliance Spread the LOVE and LIFT the lives of village children this week of Valentine's. Help us vaccinate 400 children in Mali. It is staggering how easy it is to spend $5 in the United States when just $5 covers the cost to vaccinate one child against 9 life threatening diseases. Our administration team recently returned from Mali and while there met with the chief of the Ouelessebougou Hospital. His desires for the local villagers were clear and the needs for more vaccinations is great and overwhelming!
Most of the diseases that kill children in Mali are entirely preventable. Ouelessebougou Alliance works in partnership with the local government to provide vaccinations to children ages 0-5 and expecting mothers. Children most at risk in Mali are newborns and if not vaccinated face great hardship. Vaccinations protect against disease but also help build immunity and provide a healthier start for children that face other issues such as malnutrition and extreme poverty. The biggest challenge is the hospital and local government do not have enough funding to meet the local demand for vaccinations. They also do not have the means to distribute the vaccinations to the surrounding villages of the Ouelessebougou Region. The Health Agents and Health Matrons in the 25 villages the Alliance supports are able to facilitate and organizes the vaccination process in these rural and remote areas. Mother's in these areas are given vaccination cards and track their children's health records closely.
In 2020, the Alliance hopes to provide up to 2500 children and 500 expecting mothers with vaccinations. The live threatening diseases we protect against are polio, yellow fever, measles, tuberculosis, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, tetanus and the flu. In addition to the maternal vaccinations.
Help us spread the LOVE this Valentines Day and save a life for $5 in Mali, West Africa. We often spend $5 on lunch while $5 in Mali is extremely difficult for a village family to earn and most often can equal up to 2-3 days of work. This week of Valentines Day we hope to raise $2000 for vaccinations in Ouelessebougou Region. Your donation will save a life in Mali.
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