LatinaLista — Measles, mumps, whooping cough, chicken pox, polio and hepatitis are but a few of the diseases that can strike children in a flash and have deadly or crippling consequences unless parents do one thing — get their children immunized.
Right now, Europe is seeing such a spike in measles cases because parents have not immunized their children that the World Health Organization has gone on record saying that the effort to eradicate measles in Europe has been seriously set back.
Polio is still an epidemic in 4 countries — Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan because children are not immunized from the disease.
Medical experts say that the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases, like measles, can be virtually stopped if the population is vaccinated. Yet, each year, parents opt out of vaccinating their children whether it’s from fear of the side effects of the vaccines, religious or philosophical beliefs or simply affordable medical access.
Country medical officials don’t want to see what is happening in Europe and Asia happen in North or South America and so this year’s annual observance of National Infant Immunization Week (April 23-30) is being held in conjunction with the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA).
Awareness and education events are being planned in conjunction with state and local health departments, PAHO, and the United States-Mexico Border Health Commission in sister cities sites along the U.S.-Mexican border. More than 40 countries throughout the Western Hemisphere are expected to work together on VWA to highlight the need for routine vaccinations for infants and children.
The goal of Vaccination Week in the Americas is to vaccinate more than 41 million people. It’s a goal that organizers know must be reached.
Had children not been vaccinated in the past, then the global medical community would not have experienced such milestones as: protecting infants and children from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases before age two; eradicating measles to the point that few physicians just out of medical school ever see a case of measles during their careers; and celebrating the CDC’s announcement in 2005 that rubella was no longer a major health threat to expectant mothers and their unborn children, thanks to a safe and effective vaccine, and high vaccine coverage.
However, none of those accomplishments would have happened had parents not followed the advice of the medical community and immunized their children to protect them from diseases that could have impacted all their lives forever and in very sad ways.