One of the great advantages of living in the United States is the access we have to excellent healthcare. Unfortunately, in some parts of the world people still needlessly die because of lack of vaccines for diseases that have been eradicated here.
For example, approximately 1.5 million children die every year from diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, measles and polio that are preventable with vaccines.
Take polio, for example. This horribly debilitating disease attacks the nervous system and can cause muscle weakness, paralysis and even death. While eradicated in the US in 1979, polio has recently reemerged in areas that had been polio-free for years and is currently endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. Angola, Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are also experiencing a resurgence in polio cases.
Specifically, the Foundation is making a contribution to Shot@Life that will provide 10,000 polio vaccines to children.
As Shot@Life Director Devi Thomas said in announcing our contribution, the world is close to eradicating polio. It is my hope that our support will play a role in putting us that much closer.
The mission of the Shot@Life campaign is to educate, connect and empower Americans to help protect children in developing countries from vaccine-preventable diseases, as well as provide life-saving vaccines to children in need. If you would like to learn more about Shot@Life or to donate, fundraise or advocate, I encourage you to visit the organization’s website by clicking here.