Van de frontlijn van de mondiale inentingsprogramma's

MAPUTO – Het meeste nieuws dat uit Mozambique komt, is slecht – armoede, ziekte, conflicten en overstromingen. Maar er gebeuren ook een hoop goede dingen in mijn land.

De afgelopen twintig jaar is Mozambique een goed functionerende democratie geworden; het land heeft zijn landbouwsector zien groeien; de geletterdheid is omhoog gegaan; de water- en elektriciteitslevering aan agrarische gebieden is opgevoerd; en de kindersterfte is dramatisch gedaald, van 219 per duizend levendgeborenen in 1990, twee jaar vóór het einde van de burgeroorlog, naar 135 per duizend in 2010. Ik ben vooral zeer trots op deze laatstgenoemde prestatie, omdat ik geloof dat ik zelf, door samen te werken met mijn mede-Mozambikanen bij het uitbreiden van het vaccinatieprogramma, een rol heb gespeeld bij de verwezenlijking daarvan.

Ik ben opgegroeid in Mozambique toen het land nog steeds door de Portugezen werd geregeerd. De ongelijkheid van onze koloniale maatschappij heeft mijn mening gevormd dat alle mensen recht hebben op een goede gezondheidszorg. Ik herinner me dat ik als tiener in een kinderziekenhuis werkte en kinderen zag doodgaan aan allerlei ziekten, zoals polio, de mazelen en tetanus, die makkelijk voorkomen hadden kunnen worden door inentingen. De invloed van deze ervaring heeft ertoe geleid dat ik veertig jaar van mijn leven heb gewijd aan het zeker stellen dat ieder kind in Mozambique, ongeacht etniciteit of woonplaats, het vaccin krijgt dat het nodig heeft om het te helpen een lang en gezond leven te leiden.

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