We have completed the first round of vaccinations for the year and are looking forward to completing two more rounds by the end of June. The Ouelessebougou Alliance currently provides vaccinations for 77 villages and because of the need and benefit of the program we are looking to expand our vaccination efforts to 20+ new villages this year.
The simple act of being vaccinated can mean the difference between life and death for villagers of all ages. Our partnership with the local hospital has made our vaccination program effective and affordable. We are excited to reach out to other villages that continue to suffer from preventable diseases.
VACCINATION PROGRAM SAVES LIVES and NEEDS CONTINUATION The Ouelessebougou Alliance's vaccination program has been a leading intervention for disease prevention in the area of Ouelessebougou, Mali for many years. Villagers know that the simple practice of getting immunized can mean the difference between life and death. Mothers are committed to having their children be 100% vaccinated and they are so grateful for the support of donors that give their children the chance of a healthy and comfortable life. Because the villages we work in are in rural areas, villagers would not have access to vaccinations if it weren't for our ability to get the vaccinations to them.
As we look to the future, we are happy to announce that we will be continuing our vaccination program as villagers have eagerly asked us to do so. Our delivery system is strong and our relationship with the local government and village leaders is exceptional. We look forward to continuing this important and life-saving program.
Thank you for your generosity and continued support.
Sincerely, Ouelessebougou Alliance Staff and Board
Each year our administrative team has the opportunity to travel to Ouelessebougou to check up on projects and meet with our staff and village leaders. During a visit to the village of Djenfing our administrative team had the opportunity to witness the vaccination man administer vaccinations for many children. Our Board Chairman had these thoughts about the experience...
"In mid-afternoon, a grizzly looking guy with tattered clothing and a beard cruised in on his motorbike and jovially greeted the villagers. It turns out that he’s the vaccination man from the Ouelessebougou Health Center coming to give his next round of vaccinations to the children: Polio, Measles, Diphtheria, and Yellow Fever. It was very heart-warming to see a crowd of young mothers gather ‘round with their babies. They all brought their immunization cards (usually wrapped neatly in a plastic bag) and the vaccinator had a book with very good records. It’s good to know that the Ouelessebougou Alliance assists in the expenses of getting this man out to the villages to provide the vaccines."
In an area of the world where disease is so prevalent, vaccinations are the key to prevention and overall health. Thank you for your support of this important work. You are our key to preventing disease and saving lives in Ouelessebougou, West Africa!
We have completed our first round of vaccinations for the year in 30 rural villages in and around the Ouelessebougou area. In January and May the Alliance will complete two more rounds of vaccinations--totalling almost 6,000 vaccinations for the year.
Village families in the rural areas of Ouelessebougou continue to face many health risks and diseases every day. In Mali, one in five children does not live past his or her fifth birthday due to preventable diseases such as dysentery, measles and malaria.
The good news--93% of children under the age of five are fully vaccinated in villages where the Alliance provides vaccinations, whereas nationally the numbers are less than 50%. Thank you for helping us continue to prevent disease for families in 30 rural villages.
It's been a fantastic year for disease prevention in Ouelessebougou, but as villagers approach the rainy season they are anxious to have access to mosquito nets to protect them from the mosquito-borne disease, malaria. They are also anxious to get the last round of vaccinations for the year to protect them from other life-threatening diseases. Village health workers are working hard before the rainy season comes to keep their villages clean and improve the overall health of village families.
This year, the Alliance hopes to provide nearly 5,500 vaccinations—for 2,300 women and children. This brings the total vaccinations that Ouelessebougou has provided in the Ouelessebougou area and surrounding villages to 60,000 since 2003! Although 20% of Malian children die before the age of five, less than 1% of the children in villages where we work die from vaccine preventable deaths. 92.8% of children under five in villages where we work are fully vaccinated, whereas nationally, the numbers are less than 50%.
The Alliance has also provided 600 mosquito nets for village families this year. Because a family of four can sleep under one net, these new nets will protect 2,400 more individuals. Since the Alliance began offering nets at a $1 cost to villagers, we have distributed nearly 5,000 nets since 2004! Unfortunately there are hundreds of villagers that continually request nets from our Mali staff and we haven't been able to fill their requests yet. This year we hope to double the amount of nets we've been providing each year to continue to meet the rising need.
Thanks for your help in making all of these projects come to pass!
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