This weekend my family are scattered far and wide. The Tall One is tramping the hilltops of Wales in his wet weather gear trying to find his way home with a map and compass fuelled only by Super Noodles and KP peanuts. He is on his practice expedition for his Silver Duke of Edinburgh award.
My beautiful girl will be twirling and whirling at ballet before trotting off with her sleeping bag tucked under her arm to spend the night not sleeping at a sleepover.
My Mum is in charge on Saturday while Mr Thinly Spread is at work and he takes over the reins for Sunday, two children and one wife down on his usual quota. Next week friends and family are helping the Thinly Spread machine to keep runnin smoothly in my absence.
This weekend I shall not be striding out with my family, there will be no blackberry picking, no stroll on the beach, no foraging in the forest for tomorrow evening I am flying away.
I’m not actually comfortable about this. I don’t like leaving my family behind and I certainly don’t like going so far away when one of them is on expedition dealing with all the weather Wales can throw at him. A very big part of me wants to curl up under my duvet with my man and my Bonus Boy and stay there.
But, fly away I will.
Mozambique opened my eyes in a way that nothing on TV, radio, internet or newspapers can. The realisation that millions of people worldwide have no access to healthcare and what that means in reality, on the ground, won’t leave me.
I am flying to New York tomorrow evening after the Save the Children Blogging conference. I am going because I want to make more noise. I want David Cameron and the other world leaders to ensure that everyone has access to a health worker. Health workers save lives. Children are dying every day because they are out of reach of expert care and that is wrong.
I cannot imagine having to watch a child die simply because I live in the wrong place. My children saw health professionals in their early years more times than I can count and I took it for granted that they could; that it was our right. Every mother and child has that right.
One of my children has asthma. When he was younger and it wasn’t managed we had many scary trips to hospital to sort him out and one traumatic ambulance trip in the middle of the night. With my Bonus Boy my home birth was attended by two gorgeous midwives, when I retained my placenta I was whisked to hospital in Bath to have it forcibly removed before it killed me. If we lived beyond the reach of health workers none of this would have been possible.
Health workers are crucial for the welfare and well-being of the world’s communities. They provide ante and post natal care, they vaccinate children, support breast-feeding and they educate communities to ensure better hygiene and better health. The knock on effects of this are immeasurable. Healthy communities are productive communities. Health workers are a long-term investment.
In New York I shall be meeting politicians, celebrities and health workers from Save the Children’s work in Sierra Leone. I will be blogging, vlogging and tweeting as I go. Please support me in this latest venture by blogging and tweeting too.
Save the Children want David Cameron to lead the way with other world leaders at the UN Summit by prioritising in his aid budget the funding, training and deployment of health workers across the globe to help save million’s more children’s lives. They are calling on you and me to support them, to sign this petition and to emphasize that a health worker who is in reach, is trained, equipped and supported, is crucial to increasing maternal and child survival. To sign up to the petition and to find out more about the campaign click on the picture below.
How have you benefitted from the attention of a health worker? Has a doctor, nurse or midwife meant the difference between life and death for you? I’d love to hear your stories and will comment on them all (this may take a bit longer than usual as I’m a wee bit busy for the next week!)
Click to sign. Thank you.