Shots for a Healthier Future
Children at Rancho Santa Fe at NPH Honduras receive necessary vaccinations thanks to the generous support of donors.
Reported by Karl Groneman
Communication Officer, NPH Honduras
It might not be the most relaxing event for our children, but every caregiver and medical professional understands how important it is to have basic vaccinations in Central America. Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, our nurses have been able to update our children’s vaccination history this past summer!
The Need for Healthcare
“In total, 300 of 400 children are in need of different vaccinations,” explained Stefanie Aichhorn, the volunteer nurse in charge of the Ranch’s vaccination program. “We don’t have the vaccination record for some children, so we don’t know which [shots] they’ve already had or not. It might seem easy to organize vaccinations, but with this number of children it has been more work that I originally thought.”
This summer all of our children who required updated vaccines, from the youngest babies to the older boys and girls, have been able to receive them thanks to the donations we received.
“For the children on the Ranch, we buy vaccines through donation money, but for other vaccines the children have to visit the health center in nearby La Venta,” she clarified. “The children need vaccines for Hepatitis A and B, as well as Tetanus, Polio, Tuberculosis, MMR, HPV, Chicken Pox, and a Pneumococcal vaccine.”
Nurse Stefanie stressed the importance of these vaccines, as well as her own gratitude for being able to update the children’s records these last two weeks, “It is very important that the children have immunity through vaccines because we live as a big family. So, if one child has a serious illness it would be very easy for the rest to catch it. Furthermore, there is a lot of impure water and food that carries disease here in Honduras. Sometimes the water is very dirty, and with the Hepatitis A vaccine the children have a stronger immunity against this disease. I am thankful that the children are now better protected; it certainly is a relief.”
Many children get anxious upon seeing the needle, but Nurse Stefanie says it well, “It isn’t the needle that hurts the children. It is the medicine that burns a little. The majority of the children are not afraid; they are simply nervous. After the shot many of them say with a smile, ‘Hey, that didn’t hurt at all!’”
Another volunteer nurse, Mirjam, who is also the current volunteer coordinator, recalled an anecdote about one young boy who was curious about where the shots came from.” He asked me, ‘If they’re so expensive, why do we have so much money to buy them?’ I replied, ‘It’s a donation from some wonderful people,’ ‘Wow,’ he said, ‘How nice of them to spend money on us!'”
“It was a very cute moment, and I’m sure he’ll be even more thankful one day in the futre once he understands what we’ve helped protect him against,” Mirjam reflected.