East Greenwich mom Elizabeth Atalay was brought by The United Nations Foundation to advocate on Capitol Hill to give every child a Shot@Life.
One thing we share globally as mothers is that we are passionate about our children. So when Rhode Island blogger at www.documama.org, and mother of four Elizabeth Atalay learned that in the developing world a child dies every twenty seconds from an easily preventable disease, she felt compelled to act. Elizabeth applied to the United Nations Foundation to become a Shot@Life Champion, and was selected along with 100 other champions across the country from 38 states. Including a fellow blogger and mother from Pawtucket Melissa Gardner.
On Feb. 10, the Shot At Life Champions made up of bloggers, social media influencers, nurses, pediatricians and pharmacy students from around the country were brought as volunteers to Washington DC. There they received advocacy training to support the United Nation Foundations Shot@Life campaign to expand access to childhood vaccines in developing countries as part of a movement to save 1.5 million children a year from deadly diseases such as measles, pneumonia and polio. These are diseases that parents here in the US do not have to worry about, but they are deadly, and only one plane ride away. Polio is highly infectious and as long as it exists anywhere in this ever-shrinking world, it is a threat to all of us.
This is an exciting time in global health because we are within just a few years of potentially eradicating Polio from the globe altogether. At this moment it only still exists in the three countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. Vaccine programs work, as evidenced by the eradication of small pox years ago, and if we maintain the support of vaccination programs in the developing world the eradication of Polio is within reach.
The Rhode Island Shot@Life Champions Elizabeth Atalay and Melissa Gardner visited the offices of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Sen. Jack Reed, Rep. David Cicilline and Rep. James Langevin to ask them to continue to support global health initiatives to keep our local children safe, and to expand vaccine programs to give all children around the globe a Shot@Life.
For more information about Shot@Life visit Shot@life.org and facebook.com/shotatlifecampaign