When Leganne Matlho’s eldest son fell sick at the age of 10 with a high temperature and “sores all over his body,” his mother did not at first realize how serious the situation could become.
She had heard of measles–children in her town in northern Botswana had died from it in the past. But for a day or two she waited before taking Titoga to a clinic, where doctors prescribed immediate treatment and told her that she had been lucky he had not deteriorated faster.
“I was so frightened that some illness he can catch without me knowing could have caused him to be blind, or even to die, very quickly,” Matlho says, sitting in the shade in her swept yard where tomatoes, kale and lettuce grow in neat lines in the sandy soil. “It was only after that I came to realize that there is a protection against this disease in the form of an injection, something Titoga did not get. Since that day that my son was sick, all of my children have been vaccinated.”
Piwane, Matlho’s 15-month-old daughter, was the latest to be given the shot, at a health center here in SelebiPhikwe, a mining town set in flat land in Botswana’s east, 250 miles north of the capital, Gaborone.
She was one of close to 200,000 children aged between 9 months and 5 years immunized during a five-day nationwide campaign in November in which Botswana’s Lions played a key role.
Read the rest of this article by Mike Pflanz in the April 2014 edition of LION Magazine to learn how Lions are addressing measles in Botswana.
During the month of April, LCIF has issued a 30 day challenge to help celebrate this year’s World Immunization Week from April 24-30: to raise US$1 million for measles!
When you make a donation for measles during the month of April 2014, it will be matched on a 1:1 basis by the family of Abhey and Aruna Oswal, for a total of up to US$500,000. Learn more on the LCIF website: http://lion.ly/vl4dZ.
Thank you for your support!