Giving Kids a Shot@Life

The United Nations Foundation kicked off its Shot@Life campaign at the Georgia Aquarium today to help raise awareness and funds for childhood immunizations in the developing world.

According to the UN Foundation, one child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease, such as measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and polio. That's because one in five children lack access to these basic childhood immunizations.

One of the panelists at the launch was former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who called upon the American people for their voice, time and support.

"We've come so far in eliminating deadly and disabling diseases with partnerships like ours and ‘Shot at Life,'" Carter said. "We'll be able to spread the word that vaccines can save lives, and in so, doing we can help eliminate preventable deaths."

Other panelists included UN Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin, UN Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Anne Schuchat of the CDC, and Australian photographer Anne Geddes.

Geddes commented that every child deserves "a shot at the tooth fairy." Carter said that she would like to see "a shot at ending mental health stigma."

I caught up with Ms. Carter after the launch, who talked to me for a few minutes regarding The Carter Center's mental health program and its efforts in Liberia. As she seems to be especially passionate about this subject, she encouraged me to look into her fellowship for mental health journalism.

"More meaningful reporting needs to be done on this important topic," Carter told me.