Lily came down with a cold while I was down in Melbourne for the Digital Parents Conference. I felt such terrible Mummy Guilt when Mr Monkey told me just before I caught my flight home. How dare I be in another state, enjoying myself, attending an event for myself! I should be at home looking after my poor little girl with a snuffy nose and slight temperature. Yeah, that Mummy Guilt is a bitch sometimes.
While I was at the train station waiting to transfer to the airport I stopped at a convenience store and picked up a small container of Vicks VaporRub. I knew it would be more expensive to buy at a convenience store than a chemist but I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop at a chemist before I got home. I knew Mr Monkey wasn’t able to get any as he had hurt his hip and was finding it hard to walk. I knew that even when I got home Lily wouldn’t let me anywhere near her with the Vicks as she hates the smell and I knew I would have to find some tricky way to get it on her. But I also knew that it would help her, it would provide relief from her, realistically very minor, symptoms.
Now, imagine if I didn’t have access to that convenience store. If I didn’t have access to products like Vicks which provide such simple relief. Imagine I didn’t even have access to a doctor in case Lily’s cold got worse. Imagine if my poor bubba had pneumonia and didn’t have access to the antibiotics that would make her better in only days.
It’s a scenario that seems so far fetched for us in our comfortable lives but unfortunately it is everyday life for many, many people. Did you know that a child dies from pneumonia every 20 seconds? Every 20 SECONDS! That’s 4,320 young lives lost every DAY from a preventable, treatable disease that receives very little attention. I barely even knew that people, let alone young children, are still dying from pneumonia. It seems like something that people died from only in the past.
So many of these children are dying because their parents simply don’t have the access to education to identify the symptoms of pneumonia, the access to medical care or if they do have access the health workers may not be trained to treat pneumonia or malnutrition, another big killer. Or the parents simply can’t afford to pay for the treatment. Do you know in Bangladesh it only costs $17 a week to keep a child in hospital? $17! Such a small amount of money to us, yet it could mean months of salary for people in Bangladesh. Just heartbreaking.
I recently attended a lunch to launch the new initiative from Vicks and Save The Children – Vicks Breathe For Life Program. The project aims to help Save The Children train an additional 1,600 health workers and village doctors who will help prevent, diagnose and treat pneumonia at a community level.
Natalie Bassingthwaighte, the Vicks Breathe For Life Program Ambassador, was at the launch to share her experiences in Bangladesh. You could see how touched Natalie was by her experience – when describing the women and children that she met she would become quite visibly upset. To hear her talk of having to leave her very young daughter to spend a week overseas… I just don’t think I could do it! But I liked Natalie’s response to that exact feeling – she simply thought of what she will be able to teach her daughter when she is older; she could share her experiences and teach her daughter that we can all make a difference, if it is only a small one. I hope to teach Lily the same.
So, how can we make a difference? It couldn’t be easier. Just like the Vicks Australia Facebook page. Yup, that’s it! For every like Vicks will make a donation to Save The Children. Or you can purchase any Vicks Product for another donation. Or you can even make a separate donation to Save The Children.
By just clicking a button or spending a small amount of money you can help to make a huge difference.