I feel extremely privileged to have been invited to the launch of the 2009 Pampers/UNICEF ‘1 pack = 1 vaccine’ campaign in London earlier this week and asked to raise awareness by blogging about it. So, that’s exactly what I am doing.
So, what is the campaign, and how can you help?
The campaign, which I am sure many of you are already familiar with, aims to provide 100 million tetanus vaccines this year and to reach the amazing target of eliminating tetanus completely by 2012.
How can you help? It is quite simply a no-brainer. For the months of October, November and December, all you have to do to help reach the target number of vaccines is to buy the specially marked Pampers nappies and/or wipes. 1 pack = 1 vaccine. Simple maths (even for someone who failed their O’Level in the subject!).
If your children are out of nappies, you can still help, either by buying some nappies or wipes for a friend (makes a nice change from a packet of biscuits), or by giving a ‘virtual’ gift by clicking on the 1 download = 1 donation button on the Pampers website, or by clicking the badge at the very top of this page.
The campaign’s ambassador is actress, mum, and genuinely lovely lady, Natascha McElhone (star of The Truman Show and Californication among many others). Natascha visited Angola recently with the Pampers/UNICEF team to see first-hand the impact of previous campaigns. Her stories about the women and children living in communities without so much as a clean, sterilised knife to cut a new born baby’s umbilical cord, simply have to inspire us thoroughly spoilt, pampered and indulged parents to do something incredibly simple to help.
This year alone, 128,000 newborn babies, and literally thousands of women in non industrialised countries will die as a result of the tetanus disease – a disease which is preventable. If you’re in any doubt as to whether this is something you can commit to supporting, I ask you to simply read the following.
Newborn tetanus strikes rapidly. A newborn infected with tetanus may appear perfectly healthy. Symptoms usually appear from three days after birth, when the baby’s jaw and facial muscles may tighten due to the tetanus poison. The baby’s mouth will continue to grow more rigid so that it becomes “locked” (thus the name “lockjaw” given to tetanus) and the newborn will no longer be able to breastfeed. The newborn’s body may stiffen or arch and he or she may convulse when stimulated by light, sound or being touched. Finally, the newborn may no longer be able to breathe and will therefore die.
You’ve already given the gift of life to your own children. By supporting this campaign you can help to give that gift of life to another baby, and further the progress towards eliminating the tetanus disease completely. And that would be an amazing achievement to witness in our lifetime.
For more information on the campaign and the tetanus disease, please visit the Pampers or UNICEF websites.
Thank you for your support.