In recognition of World Health Day, a child in a developing country 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 borders with astonishing speed.
In the midst of the current dialogue surrounding the cause of rise in measles outbreaks here in the U.S., it is easy to lose sight of an equally critical challenge: that of parents in other countries who want to vaccinate their children but do not have access to vaccines.
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, wellness check, or cartoon Band-Aids is a luxury. Vaccines provide the simple reassurance of a chance to live.
I personally discussed this issue with Sen. Jim Risch, I encourage you not to look the other way. Urge your legislator to support funding for global vaccine programs. We all have a stake in the outcome.
Becky Elder, CRNP, Boise