As a mother of two, I always take the necessary precautions to ensure that my children are happy and healthy. As a family, we eat healthy food, get lots of exercise and sleep and every fall we get our flu shot. There is a lot of debate and myths regarding the pros and cons of getting the flu vaccine and surprisingly only 50% of Americans get vaccinated against the flu every year. It shocks me because getting vaccinated not only keeps you protected against getting a severe, life-threatening form of the flu, it also provides protection against passing it on to someone else who may not be so lucky.
Per the World Health Organization:
Although difficult to assess, annual flu epidemics are thought to result in between three and five million cases of severe illness and between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths every year around the world. Most deaths currently associated with influenza in industrialized countries occur among the elderly over 65 years of age.
On average, 20,000 people die in the United States each year due to complications from the flu. While some years the flu deaths are much less severe – only a few thousand – other years as many as 40,000 Americans die. Where the world is utterly obsessed with the thought of getting ebola in which there is currently no vaccine, millions do not get the flu vaccine which can save lives.
I am such a strong supporter of the flu vaccine but understand that there are many people out there who believe false myths or don’t fully understand the benefits of getting yourself and your family vaccinated each year. Last week, I had the honor of speaking with Dr. Leonard Friedland an expert on infectious diseases and immunization. He is a licensed pediatrician and former Division Chief for Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine.
Here are some of the facts and myths of the flu vaccine and why it should matter to you and your family (all facts provided by the CDC):
What exactly is the flu?
The seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It spreads between people and can cause mild to severe illness. In some cases, the flu can lead to death. In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. Seasonal flu activity usually peaks in January or February, but it can occur as early as October and as late as May.
How is the flu spread?
Most experts believe that you get the flu when a person with the flu coughs, sneezes, or talks and droplets containing their germs land in your mouth or nose. You can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose.
Is the flu different than a cold?
Yes, the flu is much more series than a common cold and extremely contagious. A flu usually involves the following symptoms:
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
What are the negative consequences of getting the flu?
Flu is a severe infection. If you have ever had full-blown influenza (like I did several years ago) it is absolutely miserable and can be extremely serious. Hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized each year due to complications of the flu and unfortunately thousands die. The flu also causes many work and school days missed. The WHO estimates that recent estimates put the cost of influenza epidemics to the economy at US$ 71-167 billion per year in the United States alone.
Who needs to get vaccinated?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that almost everyone six months and older get a flu vaccination each year. It is important to note that even if you are healthy you should get a vaccine.
Seniors (over 65) are especially encouraged to get a flu vaccine every year since people over 65 make up 90% of all deaths due to complications from the flu. Pregnant mothers, children under five years of age (and over 6 months) and anyone with a comprised immune system and/or other medical conditions is highly encouraged to get vaccinated.
What are some of the misperception regarding the flu vaccine?
- A common misperception is that the flu is just like having a cold. This is not true as the flu can become much more serious and cause death.
- Belief that the flu vaccine itself can cause flu. FALSE.
Per the CDC:
A flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines that are administered with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious, or b) with no flu vaccine viruses at all (which is the case for recombinant influenza vaccine). The nasal spray flu vaccine does contain live viruses. However, the viruses are attenuated (weakened), and therefore cannot cause flu illness. The weakened viruses are cold-adapted, which means they are designed to only cause infection at the cooler temperatures found within the nose. The viruses cannot infect the lungs or other areas where warmer temperatures exist.
While a flu vaccine cannot give you flu illness, there are different side effects that may be associated with getting a flu shot or a nasal spray flu vaccine. These side effects are mild and short-lasting, especially when compared to symptoms of bad case of flu (For flu shot, side effects may include soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given, low-grade favor and or aches. For the nasal spray, side effects from the nasal spray may include runny nose, wheezing, headache, committing, muscle aches, fever).
- It is also important to note that the flu vaccine can take up to two weeks to be fully effective meaning that a person may come down with the flu during that time period or even get a cold and mistakenly believe it is from receiving the flu shot.
I got the flu vaccine but still got influenza? Did the flu vaccine not work?
It is important to note that each year, flu vaccines are made months before flu season each year based on scientific research that determines what strains are most prevalent. Therefore, the flu vaccine is not 100% effective against all strains of the flu. However, it is still highly recommended that you get vaccinated each year because if you do get the flu, it is most likely will be a much less severe form that if you had not been vaccinated at all.
I am not convinced that I should get the flu vaccine. I never get sick.
As a society, I believe it is important to think of everyone else around us. The flu is highly contagious and even if you don’t mind getting miserably sick, how would you feel if you passed it onto a child, a senior or someone with a comprised immune system who dies from it? I personally could never live with that myself.
Can I still get vaccinated?
Yes! The flu season is just beginning and there is still time to get you and your family vaccinated. Most pharmacies, health clinics and doctors offices provide the flu shot and mist. Go to www.flu.gov to find the clinic nearest you.
Want to learn more?
Check out the CDC website for more information on the flu by clicking here. You can also go to www.flu.gov to track where the flu has hit, where to get vaccinated and any additional facts you would like to know.
The bottom line: The single best thing we can do to protect our family and other people is to get vaccinated!
Additional stats from the CDC:
- A recent study* showed that flu vaccine reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74% during flu seasons from 2010-2012.
- One study showed that flu vaccination was associated with a 71% reduction in flu-related hospitalizations among adults of all ages and a 77% reduction among adults 50 years of age and older during the 2011-2012 flu season.
- Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. Vaccination was associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year. Flu vaccination also has been shown to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes (79%) and chronic lung disease (52%).
- Vaccination helps protect women during pregnancy and their babies for up to 6 months after they are born. One study showed that giving flu vaccine to pregnant women was 92% effective in preventing hospitalization of infants for flu.
- Other studies have shown that vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-related hospitalizations in older adults. A study that looked at flu vaccine effectiveness over the course of three flu seasons estimated that flu vaccination lowered the risk of hospitalizations by 61% in people 50 years of age and older.
Did you get your flu shot?
This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Nicole Melancon of Third Eye Mom.
It was a late afternoon in June when Elizabeth Atalay and I, both fellows in Ethiopia with the International Reporting Project, arrived at the nondescript gates of AHOPE for Children on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. The clouds had yet to open up and lash out in their daily angry downpour. But we knew it was coming soon for it was rainy season in Ethiopia.
I had anticipated this meeting for a long time and was a bit nervous about the world I’d see behind those gates. I had heard about AHOPE for Children after reading the powerful true story of Haregewoin Teferra, a middle class Ethiopia woman who dared to help the growing number of abandoned and orphaned children at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in her country. Award-wining journalist Melissa Fay Greene’s book, “There is No Me Without You” opened my eyes and my heart to the difficult lives of orphaned HIV-positive children and now Elizabeth and I were going to meet some of them.
The impact of HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia is nothing short of heartbreaking. It were statistics like these below that inspired Greene to research the plight of HIV/AIDS orphans in Ethiopia and let the tragedy be known.
Per the United Nations, in 2000 Africa was “a continent of orphans.” HIV and acquired AIDS had killed more than 21 million people, including 4 million children. More than 13 million children had been orphaned, 12 million of them in Sub-Saharan Africa. 25% of those lived in 2 countries: Nigeria and Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, 11% of the children were orphans.
Reading the heart-wrentching stories of the children in Greene’s book left me feeling awfully sad. Yet towards the end of her book, in 2005, the plight of adults and children impacted by HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia and the rest of the developing world changed. Antri-retrovirals (ARVs) which had been widely available in the Western, wealthiest world, had now become available in poorer countries like Ethiopia. The meaning of being HIV positive changed from being a death sentence to a hope to live.
Mengesha, the Director of AHOPE Ethiopia with some of the children.
AHOPE for Children was founded over ten years ago by American Kathy Olsen as an American non-profit charity to assist in the funding of a home for HIV positive children in Ethiopia. AHOPE stands for “African HIV Orphans: Project Embrace” and is the only orphanage in Ethiopia that solely cares for HIV positive children. AHOPE for Children and AHOPE Ethiopia are two separate organizations (AHOPE is based in the US and AHOPE Ethiopia is an Ethiopian non-profit organization) working together to help children with HIV/AIDS. The role of AHOPE for Children is to raise money to support AHOPE Ethiopia; AHOPE Ethiopia is the day to day caring and programs for all of the kids.
AHOPE Ethiopia runs children’s homes, Little AHOPE for younger children, Family Group Homes for older kids, Youth Transition Homes for young adults, and community outreach programs for children impacted by HIV/AIDS. The sole mission of AHOPE is to provide these children with a loving, supportive “family” and prepare them for an independent future while also providing care for HIV.
Mengesha, AHOPE Ethiopia’s Director smiles for the camera.
Elizabeth and I met with Mengesha, the Director of AHOPE Ethiopia, at the Little AHOPE compound which is home to 27 children. Currently there are 95 children in AHOPE Ethiopia homes and over 100 children receiving support through AHOPE’s community outreach program.
We entered Little AHOPE to the sounds of children playing outside and were met by several smiles and giggles perhaps a reaction to our blond hair and light skin. At first glance, these children didn’t seem any different than our own. They were playing, singing, jumping and vying for our attention. Yet each one of these children were different as they are all HIV positive, fighting other related illnesses and orphaned.
Our first hour at AHOPE was spent speaking with Mengesha, who has worked at AHOPE for several years and has recently become AHOPE Ethiopia’s Director. Mengesha is a warm, loving man who is passionate about AHOPE and the children. Most of the children at AHOPE are either single or double orphans who have tragically watched one or more parent die from AIDS and has been abandoned with no family member willing or able to care for them. These children have the extra burden of being HIV positive meaning they have many special needs.
AHOPE has a loving, fully trained staff of nurses, pediatricians, care-givers and social workers who ensure each child gets the individual attention, love and care they need. AHOPE aims to provide the children with a sense of belonging to a family and as the children grow, they transition to Family Group Homes. The Family Group Homes are community-based homes run by a “mother” and “auntie” where the kids are integrated into the community. The children attend school, receive their necessary medications, go on field trips and do almost everything else a healthy child would do. Once a child becomes an adult, they move to a Youth Transition Home that prepares 18-24 year olds with independent living.
After Mengesha concluded his overview on AHOPE, it was time for a tour of the home and to meet the children. At first the children were a little bit shy around us however their shyness quickly disappeared as soon as Elizabeth took out her Polaroid camera. The children loved having their photos taken and printed out for them to keep, right before their eyes! Elizabeth was very busy as a queue had formed of excited kids wanting their turn behind the camera.
Meanwhile I got to talk with some of the children and learn about their hopes and dreams. Many of the children had high hopes for their future and all of them wanted to make something out of their life. One teenager said she dreamed of becoming a doctor and helping care for kids like her. HIV positive. Another young boy dreamed of being a teacher. Thankfully, with AHOPE these children all have a hope for the future and an opportunity to be who they want to be.
Some facts on HIV/AIDS and Ethiopia:
▪ An estimated 33.3 million people worldwide are infected with HIV/AIDS.
▪ In 2009, 1.8 million people died due to HIV/AIDS, and another 2.6 mil-lion were newly infected.
▪ More than 68 percent (approximately 22.5 million people) of those infected are in sub-Saharan Africa.
▪ Worldwide, 2.5 million children under 15 are living with HIV/AIDS, and 370,000 were newly infected in 2009.
These are just some of the staggering statistics on the global HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Estimates indicate that in 2009 in Ethiopia approximately 1.1 million people were living with HIV, with a prevalence rate of about 2.3 percent.
Children in Ethiopia are also profoundly affected by HIV/AIDS. In 2009, nearly 73,000 children under age 15 were living with HIV.
Source: AHOPE for Children
Interested in learning more? Here are some excellent resources:
▪ AHOPE for Children’s website
▪ “There is No Me Without You: One Woman’s Odyssey to Rescue her Country’s Children” by Melissa Fay Greene (This book not only tells the true story of Haregewoin Teferra, it also documents some of the believed scientific origins of AIDS, the development and distribution of ARVs, and the plight of AIDS orphans in Ethiopia. It is an excellent book).
▪ A fascinating documentary that can be watched for free over the internet: “And the Band Played On” again documents the discovery of AIDS, the appallingly delayed reaction to do anything, the development of ARVs and the spread of AIDS throughout the world to become one of the worst epidemics Africa has ever seen.
Author Nicole Melancon was in Ethiopia in June as a reporting fellow with the International Reporting Project.
We had just spent the night at the source of the Blue Nile River. Lake Tana sits in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, and as our caravan of Land Cruisers wove through the countryside from Bahir Dar to Mosebo I took in deep gulping breaths of sweet fresh Ethiopian air. The lush colors of our surroundings looked to me like they had been enhanced in Photoshop in the way that everything seemed to pop. How could I feel this emotional connection to place that was never mine? A place I had never been?
Though this is my first time in Ethiopia, the verdant landscape brought me back to other rural parts of Africa I’d traveled through in my youth, similar topographies that had stayed with me ever since. This time I’d returned to the continent as a new media fellow with the International Reporting Project to report on newborn health. World Moms Blog Editor Nicole Melancon of ThirdEyeMom is a fellow on the trip as well, and last week wrote about our initial overview of maternal and newborn health in Ethiopia. Now we were heading to one of the villages housing a Health Post, which serves the local and surrounding population of approximately 3,500 people.
Mosebo Village is part of Save The Children’s Saving Newborn Lives program, and as such is looked to as a model village in the Ethiopian Government’s plan to reduce maternal and newborn mortality. Mosebo is a rural agrarian community that produces wheat, teff and corn. There I met seven-year-old Zina whose mother, Mebrate was about to give birth. Through our translator Mebrate estimated her age to be around 26, and told us that Zina was her first child. For economic reasons she and her husband had waited to have a second. When she had Zina, Mebrate had gone to her parent’s home to give birth, as women in Ethiopia often do. It is estimated that 80% of Ethiopian mothers will give birth in their home, often without a trained health care attendant. Towards the end of Mebrate’s first pregnancy she went to live with her parents as her family instructed, until after the baby was born. In that way her mother could help her deliver, could care for her and the baby, and feed her the traditional porridge after birth. Although there were no complications during her delivery, sadly, many young mothers giving birth at home are not as fortunate. The time period during and around birth are the most vulnerable for the lives of both the mothers and babies. The Saving Newborn Lives Program aims to reduce maternal and newborn mortality beginning with awareness programs and antenatal care on the local level at Health Posts like the one we visited in Mosebo.
The Mosebo Health Post and Health Extension Workers
We had met Tirgno and Fasika, the two Health Extension Workers at the Mosebo Health Post earlier that day as they showed us the two room interior, and explained their role in improving maternal and newborn health. They work to raise awareness in the community about the importance of antenatal care, and the potential dangers of giving birth at home for both mother and child. Newborn health is interdependent with maternal health, and the most prevalent causes of newborn mortality, infection, Asphyxiation, pre-maturity or low birth weight, and diarrhea can often be avoided with proper care. These days in Mosebo after receiving antenatal care at the Health Post women are then referred to the regional Health Center for deliveries.
Zina shyly smiled when we ask her how she felt about having a new sibling, she stood straight and tall listening intently as we asked her mother about the babies’ arrival. When Mebrate goes into labor this time, with her second child, she will embark on the walk along rural dirt roads for around an hour to the nearest Health Center to give birth.
Elizabeth Atalay is reporting from Ethiopia as a fellow with the International Reporting Project (IRP). This is an original post written for World Moms Blog.
You can follow all IRP reports by World Moms Elizabeth Atalay & Nicole Melancon at #EthiopiaNewborns
Three years ago, on January 13th India proudly declared the country polio-free after an unbelievable push to rid the country of this debilitating disease. In March, the World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to officially certify India as polio-free, leaving only three countries left to rid the disease: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Since the 1988 launch of a highly effective and powerful global campaign to eradicate polio, we have seen remarkable progress: In 1988, there were 125 countries with polio and today there remain only three. India’s astounding victory has been an incredible success story that has been inspiring to watch unfold.
The almost insurmountable effort to rid the second most populous country in the world of polio has been nothing short of heroic. Countless people, non-profit organizations, governmental, and global health institutions were involved in this massive effort to ensure that every single child in India was, and continues to be immunized against polio. Not only does India have an enormous population of children to vaccinate there are around 27 million new children born each year – India itself is a very large country with some of the world’s most remote and hard to reach destinations. Ensuring that every child has been immunized against polio continues to be a massive feat (India employed an army of 2.5 million vaccinators who immunized over 175 million children) yet also proves that the world can eradicate polio from the planet. If we do so, it will be only the second time in history that we have eradicated a disease in humans.
Indian school children wave at the camera during a visit to an Indian slum with Save the Children. Photo credit: Author
After traveling to India, I have continue to be amazed by what a massive campaign this has been, and what it all entailed.
Per End Polio Now, “Experts once considered India the most technically difficult place to end polio. As recently as 2009, India was home to nearly half the world’s polio cases.High population density, migrant populations and poor sanitation presented exceptional challenges to eliminating this crippling disease”.
Furthermore, India is home to millions of people who live in extremely remote, hard to reach villages that can take days to reach by foot. Yet despite these obstacles, the Indian government working together with Rotary International and other global health institutions accomplished what once seemed almost impossible.
Per Bill Gates recent article titled “India’s Finally Polio-Free. Here’s Why it Matters”published on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Impatient Optimists:
“It’s one of the greatest public health accomplishments of all time, and a powerful reminder of just how important it is to continue the fight to eradicate polio worldwide”.-Bill Gates
Recent polio outbreaks in war-torn Syria have proven that highly contagious polio can still spread and if we want to wipe polio off the face of the earth, there is no more opportune moment than now. We must continue to fund vaccination programs and push the three remaining countries to continue their fight against this horrible disease. The astounding accomplishment in India proves that this is a battle that can be won and is an important reminder of how people can work together to achieve the almost impossible task of vaccinating each and every child.
Do you believe we can wipe out Polio in our lifetimes?
This is an original World Moms Blog post written by Nicole Melancon of ThirdEyeMom.
“The world has stood and watched as the children of Syria have been shot, shelled and traumatized by the horror of war. The conflict has already left thousands of children dead, and is now threatening their means of staying alive.
We understand there is a political debate over what to do next in Syria, but we believe everyone can agree on the critical need for safe humanitarian access across the entire country. There is no room for delay or argument: Syria’s children must not be allowed to go hungry.”
-Roger Hearn, Save the Children’s regional director for the Middle East.
Save the Children distributes bread to residents of Za’atari refugee camp. Photo credit: Nicole Itano/Save the Children
A couple weeks ago World Mom’s Bloggers Jennifer Burden, Elizabeth Atalay, Nicole Morgan and myself attended an intimate panel hosted by Save the Children, ONE and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation during the 2013 Social Good Summit in New York City. It was a rare opportunity to hear some of the top social advocates and leaders speak about some of the pressing developments in social good involving eliminating extreme poverty, using technology for activism, and the current crisis in Syria.
One of the most touching conversations at the roundtable that day was listening to the President and CEO of Save the Children Carolyn Miles discuss the growing crisis in Syria and its tragic impact on its children. A week after returning from New York, I am still reflecting hard on these children and wondering how on earth I can help spread the word and raise awareness of their plight.
Rami*, two, at her home in a tented refugee settlement in Lebanon, near the Syrian border. *All names have been changed to protect identities. Photo Credit: Jonathan Hyams/Save the Children
The war in Syria is one of the largest humanitarian crisis of our time and sadly Syria’s most vulnerable citizens, its children, are paying the price.
On September 23rd, coinciding with the gathering of global leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York for UN Week, Save the Children released a startling report titled “Hunger in a War Zone: The Growing Crisis Behind the Syria Conflict“. I read the report and could not put it down. The images of Syria’s children still haunt me and I had to do something to spread the word about what is going on and how we can help.
Here is a summary of the key findings of the report. All information below as well as images being used with permission from Save the Children. To read the report in full, click here.
Zeina *, two, at her home in a tented refugee settlement in Lebanon, near the Syrian border. Zeina and her family are living in a small tent on the Syrian border. The father, Ahmad, has been part of Save the Children as Cash for Work programme, and used the money on food and water for the whole family. Thousands of children and their families continue to stream into neighbouring countries. Most of those who have escaped are living in makeshift shelters, unsuitable buildings or in overcrowded camps, amid growing shortages of food, medicine and water. * Names have been changed to protect identities. Photo Credit: Jonathan Hyams/Save the Children
Pictures tell a story. They show the world the people who are really suffering in Syria. Its most innocent and vulnerable: Their children.
This is the photo that struck a chord in my heart. She could be my own daughter. Same age. Same love for stuffed animals. But no smile to greet the day.
Refugee child in Iraq. Most of the refugees did not manage to bring any belongings with them when they fled Syria. Some children managed to save their favourite teddy bear or doll. Others have received new toys after moving to the camp. Photo Credit: Rob Holden/Save the Children
It is hard to look at these photographs and not feel some inherent urge to jump on a plane and save them. As a mother of two children, ages 6 and 8, I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like for these parents and their children.
In mid-September, it was estimated that there are over 4 million displaced families living inside of Syria’s borders in temporary housing with little access to food to feed their children and barely a drip of water. Another two million have fled the country pouring into neighboring countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt at a rate of nearly 6,000 day*.
Some families are living in abandoned industrial buildings while others in makeshift refuge camps. The World Health Organization has deemed the crisis in Syria “to be one of the worst ongoing humanitarian crisis on earth”. As the sun begins to turn cold and food becomes more and more scarce, what will these families feed their growing, hungry children?
Zeina *, two, at her home in a tented refugee settlement in Lebanon, near the Syrian border. *Names have been changed to protect identities. Photo credit: Jonathan Hyams/Save the Children
Per Save the Children, “More than four million Syrians — more than two million of them children — are unable to produce or buy enough food, with many thousands living under fire and with no access to all but the bare minimum foodstuffs needed to survive. Save the Children is already seeing reports that one in 20 children in rural Damascus is severely malnourished”.**
One of the biggest issues right now is the fact that most of Syria’s families are trapped in dangerous locations where they have little or no access to food. They are faced with making the unimaginable decision. To stay inside their homes and starve or to face bullets and death by leaving the safety of their homes to get food for their family. It is a choice no parent should have to make.
“A message to the World”
“This is a message from the Syrian people to world leaders. I am 13 years old and I am Syrian. I am Ali. I want to talk about the tragedy that we have in Syria. In Syria, we have no good food and not enough water. We only have lentils. So we ate lentils every day. We would see wounded people and dead bodies every day in the street, and many children who did not have homes. They are living in schools. But now they don’t even have a school to live in. I am asking the leaders of the world to provide us safe shelter, food, water, medicine – this is all we ask. Please, please, please – help us”.
-Ali, 13 years old***
Maya * 11 months, at her home in a disused industrial building in Lebanon near the Syrian border *All names have been changed to protect identities. Photo credit: Jonathan Hyams/Save the Children
Another issue is that the war has destroyed Syria’s economy pulling a once relatively prosperous country into shambles. The United Nations “now estimates close to seven million inhabitants have been plunged into poverty since fighting began. In addition, Syria’s agriculture and infrastructure are collapsing, with grain production falling to less than half of what was typical before the war”**. Furthermore, “after two and a half years of war, the conflict has set Syria back 35 years and imposted an economic cost of more than $84 billion, equivalent to over 140 % of Syria’s pre-war GDP”. *** Once the war ends, rebuilding is going to be a long and painful journey.
Nadia *, one and a half, is carried by her mother Roula * outside their home in a tented refugee settlement in Lebanon, near the Syrian border. *Names have been changed to protect identities. Photo Credit: Jonathan Hyams/Save the Children
What Save the Children is asking world leaders is to secure humanitarian access to the people per Save the Children’s Carolyn Miles. There are 7 million people in need of assistance and 5 million people stuck inside the country. Save the Children strongly believes that regardless of the political situation in Syria, we must do something about this enormous humanitarian crisis. We must act and we must act now. Time is running out for the millions of children and families who are suffering and facing extreme hunger and malnutrition. The world must listen and help.
Here is a link to what needs to be done. (See page 19)
Here is the latest response by global leaders: Press Release 10/02/13 Save the Children “UN Aid Access Agreement Could Save Thousands of Lives in Syria”.
The fight to save Syria’s children is far from over. We need to act now and spread the word. We need to voice our concern.
This is what is at stake: Children.
Suhad * six, lies on the floor of her home in a tented refugee settlement in Lebanon, near the Syrian border. *Names have been changed to protect children’s identities. Jonathan Hyams/Save the Children
Related Posts and References:
*“Six Million Displaced by War in Syria” via the Atlantic
**Food Shortages Put Syria’s Children at Risk of Malnutrition
***Hunger in a War Zone: The Growing Crisis Behind the Syria Conflict“
Highlights from the 2013 Social Good Summit
To keep in touch with the latest updates on Save the Children’s work in Syria and how you can help, click here.
How can the world sit by and watch these children suffer?
This post was written and modified for World Moms Blog by Nicole Melancon who can also be found at ThirdEyeMom.
As you know we are a global group of mothers, and we care so much for the children of our world and their future. Our children will inherit what we leave behind, so after participating in the United Nations Momentum 1,000 event to mark 1,000 days until the Millennium Development Goal deadline, we decided that we did not want to stop there.
Last month World Moms blog launched an 8 month Millennium Development Goal campaign to continue to raise awareness around each of the 8 Millennium Development Goals known as the MDG’s.
In 2000, 189 nations made a promise to free people from extreme poverty and multiple deprivations. This pledge turned into the eight Millennium Development Goals, and was written as the Millennium Goal Declaration .- United Nations Development Programme
World Moms Blog kicked off the campaign with a twitter party last month that had the voices of change agents chiming in from all over the globe.
Today we spotlight MDG 1 with World Mom Blog editor and contributor Nicole Melancon on ONE.org . You can then join us in the discussion on MDG 1 at our Twitter party tomorrow night at #Moms4MDGs.
MDG 1 is to “Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger” which is why we so fittingly partnered to share this message with ONE.org, who invites us all to “Join The Fight Against Extreme Poverty”.
The good news about MDG 1 is that the goal has already been met by halving extreme poverty since 1990. The bad news is that according to the most recent MDG Progress report there are still over a billion people in the world living on less than 1.25 dollars a day.
According to the World Bank “The international line of $1.25 a day is the average of the national poverty lines in the poorest 10-20 countries.the average”. Which means there is still a great deal of work to be done.
The second component of MDG 1 is to eradicate Hunger; and according to that same United Nations report 1 in 8 children still go to bed hungry every night; and 1 in 4 of those children facing malnutrition will be stunted in their growth and potential. Our goal with this campaign is to continue to raise awareness and use our collective voices as the mothers of the world to inspire change. Join us at the twitter party tomorrow night, check out Nicole’s blog post today on ONE.org, and help us keep the momentum going to reach the goals.
Join us on twitter tomorrow and head on over to read World Mom, Nicole Melancon’s, post at One.org! (The link to ONE is now live!)
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by World Voice Editor, Elizabeth Atalay of “Documama.”
Photo credits to the author.