In recognition of World Health Day, it should be noted a child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease. Although these children in other countries are thousands of miles away, the conditions they face can cross our borders with astonishing speed.
In the midst of current dialogue surrounding the cause of rise in measles outbreaks in the U.S., it is easy to lose sight of an equally important challenge; that of parents in other countries who want to vaccinate their children but don’t have access.
We will undoubtedly be talking domestically about approaches to vaccination for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, I encourage you to act on something we can all agree upon — helping children for whom access to a health clinic or wellness check is a luxury. For these children, vaccines provide the simple reassurance of making it to the next milestone and a shot at life.
It is imperative that U.S. legislators prioritize funding for vaccination programs. I encourage you not to look the other way. Help me spread the word that funding for global vaccine programs is a matter of national security. By protecting children abroad, we are protecting our children at home.
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Becky Elder, Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner, Boise