Published on The Hunger Project – Australia Website
Health clinics within our Epicentre communities are providing essential vaccinations to protect children against life-threatening diseases that are entirely preventable.
Without vaccination, tens of thousands of children die every year from diseases like malaria, pneumonia, diphtheria, meningitis, whooping cough and more.
In Benin alone, approximately 30,000 children die every year from diseases that could have been prevented through vaccination, access to medical care and proper nutrition. Village leaders, like Fatimah, visit surrounding communities to talk to families about the importance of visiting health clinics when their children and family members fall ill.
She says – ‘Not many people believe they will find quality care so close time home. Most people wait, hoping their medical complaints will disappear, or until they are very ill. When that happens, they are often beyond our help. This is really sad.’
The first 1,000 days of a child’s life are critical in determining their long-term health. When they are vaccinated, treated for malnutrition, diarrhoea and dehydration, they not only survive, they are given the chance to grow into strong, healthy members of their community.
Developing awareness around the importance of vaccinations and disease prevention is integral to saving lives and developing self-reliant communities free from hunger.
As village leaders like Fatimah spread the word, more and more people come to visit the centres and receive medical treatment. As they witness the positive benefits of vaccination and medical screening, their mindset toward health care changes and they develop a vision for a future free from disease and hunger.