Last year, I traveled to Kenya with the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign. I’ll forever hold close the memories I made meeting with mothers and children there, and seeing firsthand how vaccinations could give them hope for the future.
We started in Nairobi, traveling alongside health care workers administering polio vaccines to children. While in villages near Migori I met a young boy whose mother and two siblings are blind. He had walked three miles with his little sister to the community center to get immunized.
I heard similar stories in the villages outside Kisumu, where I met mothers who had walked for miles, and waited for hours in long lines to get their infants vaccinated. Some of the mothers made the choice to become health workers so they could support the vaccination efforts in their communities by going door to door to alert families that a campaign was coming to their village.
As I prepare to welcome my third child into the world, I often think about my trip to Kenya. Although I live an ocean apart from those mothers, we share a common desire to do what’s best for our children. These mothers, like so many living in developing countries, deserve the opportunity to provide their children with a healthy shot at life. We can do this by providing access to vaccines. I hope more mothers will join me in advocating for access to childhood vaccines for children around the globe.
Photo: Courtesy of the United Nations Foundation