- Vaccines have saved more lives than anti-biotics
- For the first time in recent history, the number of children dying each year has fallen below 10 million; immunisation played a crucial part
- Yet 20% of the children born each year do not receive the immunisations they need
Immunisation has been practiced for centuries and has become a safe and cost-effective weapon in the fight against disease.
Smallpox was eradicated and a global campaign has reduced polio’s incidence dramatically. However, the challenge remains to reach people in the remotest corners of the world, not only to protect individuals but to prevent contagious disease re-gaining a foothold.
IMPACT Foundations in Africa and Asia and our Indian partners the PNR Society in Bhavnagar and the KEM Hospital in Pune, take the message of the ‘magic of immunisation’ to men and women living in villages effectively cut-off from the progress being made in cities.
After an encounter with an IMPACT worker, one father in Nepal told fellow villagers that immunisation is like ‘putting a fence around your child to protect them’.
Half of all foetuses are affected when mothers contract rubella (German measles) in early pregnancy. Babies may be born with visual or hearing impairment, heart defects, and mental retardation. Miscarriage or stillbirth may also occur. Immunising women before they become pregnant prevents Congenital Rubella Syndrome, yet the vaccine is not routinely given in the developing world.
We are visiting schools to raise awareness and vaccinate girls. Last year, our partners in Pune beat their vaccination target by 74% and in Bhavnagar, 5,000 girls were immunised in just one day. And across all IMPACT projects last year, 63,935 people were immunised against potentially disabling diseases.
The Individual IMPACT
18-year old Sangita was paralysed by Polio in early childhood. After surgery and physiotherapy within IMPACT’s programme, she can now walk upright with assistance and came for new crutches before her wedding day. She is determined that her future children will be fully immunised. Without treatment, it is unlikely that Sangita would have married at all making her future very insecure.