Every day, 19,000 children die from preventable causes. You can help change that.

UNICEF/ HQ07-1076/Shehzad Noorani

The loss of a child is unimaginable to most of us. What if if the cause was completely preventable? For thousands of children, it is.

Want to give a really meaningful gift this year? Why not save the life of a child? It’s possible if you give a gift of vaccines. Your gift of $42 (CAD) buys:

  • 73 Polio Vaccines
  • 73 Tetanus Vaccines
  • 83 Measles Vaccines

I’ve posted this in the past, but I’m going to reiterate it again. Vaccines are astonishingly effective at preventing illness, suffering and death from infectious disease. With the exception of clean water, no other health intervention has saved so many lives: More than 20 million lives in the past 25 years have been saved because of vaccines. More than 100 million infants are now immunized against the most common preventable childhood illnesses each year, saving more than 2.5 million young lives each year. Astonishingly, UNICEF is the world’s largest vaccine provider: they provided 2.6 billion doses of vaccines to children in 8 countries in the span of one year. Every day, 19,000 children die from preventable causes. That number was 33,000 in 1990. You can help contribute to that decline. The elimination of polio is close.

UNICEF, the world’s leading humanitarian and development agency, publishes a Gift of Life catalog each year. The catalog allows you to directly purchase products and services that UNICEF will use to improve the lives of children worldwide.  Gifts range from school supplies to malaria nets. All are worthwhile. If you don’t want to buy vaccines, you can also buy rehydration salts, vaccine carriers, baby scales, anti-infection tablets, and many other products. UNICEF is an efficient charity, with almost all contributions going to programs and services. (The Charity Navigator evaluation of the United States Fund for UNICEF also give it an excellent rating.) With your modest donation, you can make a meaningful difference to the lives of others, help eliminate diseases from the earth, and  demonstrate your science advocacy – all in one gift. And who wouldn’t appreciate a gift like that? I just donated. If you can, please do the same.

Photo from flickr user UNICEF Sverige used under a CC licence.