Ce pot aduce campaniile de vaccinare…

… în tari ca India sau Brazilia. Eradicarea unor boli ucigase, care pareau de neînvins.

Dar în lumea noastra civilizata…? Aici bântuie campaniile antivaccin, ale carei cauze ma depasesc.

Într-un articol din „Guardian”, o mare vedeta a Bollywoodului lauda imensa realizare, de neînchipuit înca acum câtiva ani, pe care o reprezinta eradicarea poliomielitei în India.

Ma întreb si eu, ca proasta: oare ce-o fi în capul parintilor care, pe baza de zvonuri si „trenduri”, refuzând vaccinuri, pun în pericol sanatatea propriilor copii, dar si a multor altora? De unde convingerile astea pe cât de irationale, pe atât de contagioase…?

„The only way to eradicate polio is to ensure that immunisation coverage reaches virtually every child and stays high. Knowing this, these health workers set about finding every last child, often leaving their own families behind for long periods to travel to the most remote places.

And that’s not just the case in India – it’s a story that rings true all around the world, and not just for polio but for other life-threatening diseases, including pneumonia, measles, tetanus, hepatitis B or diphtheria.

Behind the phenomenal success of vaccines globally lies the hard work of millions of front line health workers who walk for hundreds of miles, navigating the dense jungles and rivers of Brazil’s Amazon region, or travel to the remote islands of the South Pacific to vaccinate every child. These journeys can be arduous, but volunteers stay the course to protect their communities. Often, they encounter fear, suspicion, and in many cases violence. And they have to combat the myths and convince parents who believe that vaccines are toxic or cause infertility.

Despite the challenges, they carry on with the same energy I saw in that stadium. As part of the largest vaccination campaign against measles and rubella, health workers are currently vaccinating more than 35 million children across India despite great resistance and challenges. In 2016, an estimated 119 million children were vaccinated against measles globally. More children are now protected than ever before.

As of 2016, an estimated 86% of children under one year of age were fully vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, compared with 52% 30 years ago.

The world is almost polio-free, with only two countries recording polio cases last year. Since 2000, an estimated 20 million children’s lives have been saved through measles immunisation alone. In total, these superheroes save up to an estimated three million children’s lives every year with routine vaccination.

But they need our help. Take away continuing investment in vaccinators, health workers, doctors, transporters, scientists, warehouses, vaccines, cold-chain facilities, and mass-media campaigns, and these successes can quickly unravel.

Conflict, weak health systems, and poverty all mean that approximately one in 10 children under one year of age are still not being reached with routine, life-saving vaccines.

So, I want to ask everyone to make a difference by getting their child vaccinated, fighting rumours and fears with facts, and using social media to spread the word and let the world know that vaccines can save lives.

  • Amitabh Bachchan, a prominent figure in Indian cinema and a powerful advocate for children, has been a Unicef goodwill ambassador since 2005 



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