The Afar region of Ethiopia is one of the hottest inhabited places on earth. Poverty, malnutrition and a serious shortage of clean water has resulted in an ongoing public health crisis in the region that has cost the lives of thousands of people.
It is a dry, remote land with few roads, so accessing many of the villages requires not only 4-wheel drive vehicles, but often camel trains also through the more difficult terrains. Add to this, that only 8% of the entire Afar people (of about 2 million) are fully vaccinated against all major diseases. They have one of the lowest immunisation rates globally, and something we in developed countries such as Australia can easily take for granted. The result has been high death rates from preventable diseases such as measles, whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus.
Through the Afar Pastoral Development Association (APDA) and their leader, the amazing Australian nurse Valerie Browning, the Fullife Foundation has been able to fund a range of life-changing health services for women and children primarily. These have including safe birthing kits, iron and lentil supplementation for pregnant women, and educational training programs for maternal birthing attendants.
Our key focus at the moment is providing immunisation for whole villages who are at risk for the diseases mentioned above. In an attempt to navigate the logistics of this region, through your donations, we can fund a health team that goes out into the remote desert areas, with ice-boxes containing the vaccines loaded on camels, to locate, assess and immunise the people there. Our recent program immunised over 1,000 people with all four rounds of WHO recommended vaccines, while at the same time, providing general health assessments and treatments for other conditions.
Fullife's "Get Vaccinated, Give Hope" campaign works in this way: For every flu vaccination performed in a Fullife Pharmacy from April to July, we will donate $1.00 to the Fullife Foundation's immunisation program to fund our next major immunisation campaign. Approximately $20 will fund the full immunisation of one Afar woman or child.
You can also donate directly to support this program, or purchase a $20 Gift Of Hope immunisation card in any Fullife Pharmacy or online.
Please share with your family and friends!
Thank-you again for your generosity!
An Afar baby is given its Polio dose as part of a complete vaccination regime, with the health worker who is holding the vaccination that will be given next. The mother of this baby is sitting against a traditional Afar hut.
Another Afar baby is immunised by an APDA health worker.
This is performed on the dusty, sandy ground that is typical of the Afar region.
Another Afar baby being immunised.
This image, while blurry, shows the unforgiving and desolate nature of the Afar land.
It is the hottest inhabited place on Earth, with one of the lowest overall immunisation rates - only 8%
An Afar settlement, and the largest ice box that houses the vaccines, keeping them at the right temperature.
These ice boxes have to be transported into place by a camel!
The healthcare workers and part of their 'camel train', as they travel our to the remote settlement to immunise over 1,000 people (mainly women and children).
This was done 4 times over a short period to ensure all4 rounds of vaccines were administered according to the WHO immunisation schedules and protocols.
Note the vaccine ice boxes and other medical equipment being transported on the camel!