Now I am home I am caught up in a media storm of interviews ahead of handing in the petition at Downing Street on Friday. Today I was asked a question which got to the very heart of what I am trying to do.
‘What do you hope to achieve?’
I want to give these mothers a voice and their children a chance. They are the voiceless. They don’t have internet access or telephones. They can’t climb in to an aeroplane and fly across the world to stand up and shout for their children.
We visited The Chicumbane Rural Hospital and met two mothers and their children on the paediatric ward.
This is Christina, she had walked from her village to a road, carrying her sick child. She had then travelled for four hours to get her son to the hospital. Just getting to the hospital has cost her far more than she can afford. She has left her other children in the care of her community. She sleeps in the grounds of the hospital where her child is being treated. There is no running water at the hospital so she helps to carry barrels of water into the building. Barrels of standing water are an inviting home for mosquitos…
Her son is called Paulo. He is 18 months old and is half the size he should be, he is malnourished and struggling. He may well leave the hospital carrying something else with him. Paulo has enough to cope with without catching an easily preventable disease. His chances of survival are slim. I can’t save him but if I can shout loud enough with your help we will be able to save 4 million just like him. Children shouldn’t be dying of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea. It’s not right.
This little one has malaria. She is called Dinercia and her Mum is called Isaura. I’m naming the nameless. Shouting for the voiceless.
That’s what I want to achieve. I’m a mum. I feel their pain.
Please shout loud. Sign the petition. Tweet and retweet it. Put it on your facebook page. Write a blog post. Call your friends and family. Make some noise for the voiceless.