World Immunisation Week, 24th-30th April, is observed every year to raise awareness for greater action on immunisation around the world. Immunisation has been recognised as one of the world’s most successful and cost-effective health interventions, which is known to save millions of lives. In spite of that, there are over 19 million unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children in the world, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Immunisation can protect against 25 different infectious agents or diseases, from infancy to old age, including diphtheria, measles, mumps, pertussis, and tetanus while some of the diseases eradicated by vaccines include smallpox, rinderpest, polio and malaria.
At The Sreepur Village, our public health unit takes immunisation very seriously as to improve health and quality of life through prevention and treatment of disease and other physical and mental health conditions. As the world gives concentration to prevention rather than cure, the public health department has launched different types of health sessions and health awareness programmes so that the mothers and children are more health conscious.
As most of our mothers are from the different marginalised areas of Bangladesh, they are not aware of vaccinations, but when they come to stay at The Sreepur Village, we work hard to protect their children. Every child that comes to The Sreepur Village is included in EPI - Expanded Programme on Immunisation and other vaccinations. With the help of the local EPI centre, last year 79 children were immunised by this programme. From 2017 until now, we have immunised 550 children with the MMR vaccine (Measles, mumps, and rubella), 284 children with the chickenpox vaccine and 200 girls have been immunised against cervical cancer.
World Immunisation Week – celebrated in the last week of April – aims to highlight the collective action needed to ensure that every person is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. This year’s theme: “Protected Together, #VaccinesWork”, encourages people at every level – from donors to the general public – to go further in their efforts to increase immunisation coverage for the greater good.
Life can sometimes throw unimaginable challenges at us, but it's the human spirit's resilience and determination that can lead to remarkable stories of triumph.
Lia's life is a testament to this spirit, marked by adversity, courage, and ultimate success. Lia's story draws parallels to other stories of perseverance, and highlights the crucial role of organisations like Sreepur Village in transforming lives.
Out of the blue, at the tender age of 13, Chia found herself sitting on a bridal stage, about to marry a man who was 35 years old. Her parents had arranged the match, finding the man from their nearby locality in Bhairab.
He was a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) businessman who occasionally sold vegetables and fruits on the street. Chia's aspirations and youthful dreams were abruptly interrupted by this sudden marriage. Instead of books, she found herself with kitchen utensils in her hands. She went from feeling like a princess to becoming a servant overnight.