Christine Koh

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I'm Christine Koh, a music and brain neuroscientist turned multimedia creative. I'm the founder + editor of Boston Mamas, co-author of Minimalist Parenting, co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast, and creative director at Women Online. Drop me a line; I'd love to chat about how we can work together!

"1 Pack = 1 Vaccine" Relaunch

unicef_pampers_1.JPGThis past Thursday (when I was absent from posting…) I had the honor of attending a media event in New York, during which Jodi Allen (VP of North America Baby Care, P & G), Caryl Stern (President and CEO, US Fund for UNICEF), and Salma Hayek (actress and Pampers/UNICEF campaign spokesperson) announced the relaunch of the “1 Pack = 1 Vaccine” campaign to eradicate maternal and neonatal tetanus. Read on to learn more about the campaign and press conference; in my next post I’ll share the transcript from my small group interview with Salma Hayek.

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The “1 Pack = 1 Vaccine” campaign has been on my radar since learning about it during my visit to Pampers Baby Care Headquarters in Cincinnati last summer. And hearing the heart-wrenching and inspirational stories surrounding the campaign was just as salient the second time around. The second North American wave of the “1 Pack = 1 Vaccine” campaign commences next week; here are the important facts that everyone should know about the initiative. Following that are notes and quotes from the press conference.

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History of Maternal & Neonatal Tetanus:

  • A decade ago, maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT) was a major public health problem in 58 countries, resulting in the painful and needless deaths of approximately 215,000 newborns and 30,000 mothers every year.

  • Tetanus is caused by bacteria called Clostridium Tetani, which enters the body through open wounds. The bacteria produce a toxin that attacks the nervous system. In developing countries - where women often give birth in unsanitary conditions - mothers and their newborn babies are at risk of contracting tetanus via spores passing through the umbilical cord when cut.

  • The disease mainly affects women who live in impoverished and remote areas where inexpensive and effective vaccinations and basic hygiene techniques are absent. The majority of mothers and newborns dying of tetanus live in Africa and Southern and East Asia.

  • The disease rages through newborns within days of their exposure to the bacteria and almost always leads to a swift and painful death. Tetanus has a fatality rate as high as 70 to 100% in some countries.

  • Two doses of the tetanus vaccine are recommended for pregnant women, three doses to women of childbearing age in high-risk areas, providing protection for up to 15 years, and passing on their immunity to their newborns for the first few months of life.

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    UNICEF’s Involvement:

  • In 2000, UNICEF joined with partners in a massive initiative to eliminate tetanus in the 58 countries still ravaged by MNT.

  • UNICEF’s efforts have resulted in the elimination of MNT in 12 countries (and 15 of the 28 states in India), with many countries very close to eliminating the disease. This translates to 87,000 babies saved each year and over 81 million women protected against tetanus between 1999 and mid 2008.

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    “1 Pack = 1 Vaccine” Campaign

  • In 2006, Pampers and UNICEF partnered for the “1 Pack = 1 Vaccine” Campaign. The partnership launched in the U.K., expanded to Western Europe and Japan in 2007, and expanded to approximately 100 countries in 2008, including the U.S. and Canada. For every pack of “1 Pack = 1 Vaccine” marked Pampers products sold, Pampers donates the equivalent of 1 vaccine to UNICEF.

  • Through August 31, 2008, Pampers funded over 100 million lifesaving tetanus vaccines through this initiative.

  • From late 2008 to 2011, Pampers is projected to provide at least 200 million additional tetanus vaccines.

  • The 2009 North America campaign will run from February 15 – May 1. Pampers will donate 7 cents to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for each pack of specially-marked Pampers diapers and wipes to help UNICEF provide one tetanus vaccine to a pregnant woman or a woman of child-bearing age in the developing world.

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    Campaign Relaunch Press Conference

    During the the press conference on Thursday, Jodi Allen (P & G) and Caryl Stern (UNICEF) summarized the accomplishments and discussed the goals of the campaign, and showed footage from Salma Hayek's visit to Africa with UNICEF.

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    Allen was extremely kind in acknowledging citizen outreach, presenting Broadway Kids Care - a group of kids who raised funds for UNICEF vaccinations through a bake sale – as a shining example. Allen noted this as, “…just one example of the stories we are hearing through the country…We are so touched to see kids and teenagers, parents, mom bloggers - some of whom are with us here in the audience today - who are so passionate about this cause and doing whatever they can to support the cause.” (Thanks for the mom blogger shout out, Jodi!)

    Salma Hayek then spoke about how humbling it was to learn firsthand – during her visit to Sierra Leone - about the complicated coordination involved in getting vaccines to remote areas, how painful it was to see mothers and babies suffering needlessly, and about the immense power of the tangibility of the results. Here are some outtakes from her speech:

    “In all the problems and all the stress of this country, where one out of every four children doesn’t make it to the age of five – to know that they can count on this solution, on this antidote [is very powerful].”

    “In times like this, Pampers is an example because it’s a successful company that is taking a social stand; it’s saying ‘OK we’re doing this. How do we do it in a responsible way?’”

    “It’s very important that everyone comes together and makes an effort to protect ourselves and protect our planet because we are in crisis and the crisis goes way beyond an economical crisis.”

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    [Introducing members of Broadway Kids Cares; shown] “I want to say that if this is our future…we can be very optimistic about where we are going because these little entrepreneurs know that there is this problem. And they didn’t just sit there, they wanted to do something about it. So they worked really hard and they baked a lot of goodies and they sold a lot of them and they were able to participate. And I feel like they are my partners in this campaign. I just hope that [it]…makes them proud to know that even in the worst of the economy they can give something for someone who is in a worse situation somewhere in the world. That it is a life and death situation and they are connecting with other women and children somewhere else and are helping save the lives of children…[I hope it] inpsires children like them and everyone here to try to participate in some way to make this world a better place.”

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    If you already regularly buy Pampers, come February 15, look for and purchase those “1 Pack = 1 Vaccine” marked packages (sticker shown above). And if you tend to purchase other diapers, please consider purchasing these marked packages to support the campaign, or make a direct donation to UNICEF.


  • Chatting with Salma Hayek

    Weekly Web Roundup