Lenny Kravitz asks for your help in saving children from preventable diseases

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Four-year old Shahadat was crippled by polio when he was only 2. It came on suddenly, paralyzing his entire body. Shahadat can move his left leg, but he will never regain the use of his right leg. Living in cramped quarters near India’s capital, New Delhi, he faces a lifetime with a permanent handicap. Shahadat will never run home from school, chase a ball and live a life he deserved.

Lenny Kravitz asks for your help in saving children from preventable diseases

In a new public announcement, Grammy award–winning singer and songwriter Lenny Kravitz brings Shahadat’s story to light and asks for public support in the fight against polio.

“We can eradicate the disease of polio in our lifetime. And we can help UNICEF fully immunize every child,” he says.

As long as a single child remains infected, children in all countries are at risk of contracting polio. Children under 5 are especially vulnerable.

In 2011 alone, 1.5 million children died from diseases preventable by currently recommended vaccines. It may be too late for Shahadat now, but it isn’t for millions others.

“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare – an extremely ill child,” Kravitz says. “UNICEF’s goal is to make sure that 100 per cent of children are immunized against preventable diseases. Failing to reach every last child is unacceptable, especially when the cost of a vaccine is so little.”

Vaccines are responsible for eradicating smallpox and for preventing an estimated 2 million to 3 million deaths each year from diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough measles and polio. Fifty years ago, polio was one of the most feared diseases in the world. Timely immunization with today’s safe and effective oral vaccines is the most effective way to prevent infection. As a result, polio is now endemic in only three countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.


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