Helping Ethiopian mothers protect their children

Ethiopia, January 21, 2011

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    Photo: Joni Kabana for Mercy Corps Photo: img_5911.jpg

It is astonishing to know that very simple solutions exist that will protect our youngest citizens against diseases, yet so few children have access to this basic health care in countries where it is most needed. In underdeveloped countries, children drink from contaminated wells, they are exposed repeatedly to viruses, and diseases run rampant.

A mother's love is fierce, and universally, the role -- and desire -- of a mother is to protect her young from life's hardships. In countries such as the United States, this can mean anything from an having an agreement with your teenagers to not drink and drive, or for a middle schooler to watch for cars when crossing the street, or to add door locks to kitchen cabinets so babies cannot be exposed to poisonous substances.

Can you imagine being a mother in Ethiopia, knowing that a simple vaccination exists that can prevent your child from the ravages of disease, yet not being able to access this preventative care? Many times, they simply just feel resigned to live with ailments that are prevented or treated swiftly in developed nations.

At Arguba Tenawo Health Post in Aruba Tenawo Village in Ethiopia, Natinal (seven months), waits patiently as his mother, Kayate Kayaye, holds him. She has heard that this health post was built so that they could come to receive much needed health care, and she is ecstatic.. Natinal will soon get his long-awaited vaccinations, thanks to Mercy Corps' donors who have helped make this a reality.

And one more mother in this world will sleep more comfortably at night.