A worldwide hope

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(Photo: Tearfund)

"When I look into the eyes of the people I vaccinate against Covid-19 every day, I am hopeful for the future. With every person who leaves my clinic, I feel that we are getting closer and closer. But I know that it will take so much more than that for our world to get rid of this pandemic for good. "

Scot Maggie McColl puts on her scrubs and returns to nursing after several years with no calling.

Originally from Dunblane, Maggie couldn't sit back and do nothing when the coronavirus hit the UK last year and the NHS was stretched. She knew she was able to help. She's re-enrolled on the nursing register because she is passionate about doing everything to respond.

As the 35-year-old prepares to run a vaccination center later this month, she realizes that there is no hope of an end to the pandemic for millions of people in low-income countries.

For the past five years, Maggie has worked for International Development Aid Tearfund, where she has seen firsthand the challenges many people around the world are facing due to extreme poverty, adding to the reality of Covid-19 in communities without her makes basic services or access to clean water more problematic.

And she is worried about the toll that Covid-19 is levying on the poorest people in our world, for whom there is no road map based on the current situation.

Maggie says: "Millions of people in the UK have now received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and that's great, but it is estimated that most lower-income countries can only vaccinate 1 in 10 people in the UK in 2021, and that millions of people will have to wait for a vaccination until at least 2022.

"We can all relate to waiting for a vaccine to be available, but now can you imagine that glimmer of hope exists when you live in a country where you haven't had access for another year?" that there is such a big gap between countries that can afford the vaccine to protect their populations and those that are left behind. "

Maggie's work with Tearfund over the past few years has enabled her to meet families living in the poorest communities in Malawi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Cambodia, India and Nicaragua. And now, moved by what she has seen, Maggie is deeply affected by Tearfund's demands for equal access to treatment and vaccines for people who live in these poor countries and cannot afford them.

She says, "I'm proud to play my role in the NHS, but I can't just pretend there isn't this great injustice between the people I vaccinate here in the UK and those around the world who are have to. " protected and protected from this deadly virus.

Louise Thomas in her scrubs back on the NHS front after five years at Tearfund.(Photo: Tearfund)

"The people of Malawi are just as concerned for their elderly relatives and those with underlying health conditions as we are, but the truth is they are much further from a solution to all of this and live in conditions that pose a significant risk to It not that easy for everyone to wash their hands in clean water, have a face mask on hand, or eat healthy and nutritious food to keep them strong.

"Tearfund is at the heart of these communities that support the most vulnerable. Our partners have worked on the ground to improve sanitation and sanitation and deliver public health messages to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

"But more needs to be done to support recovery beyond our own borders. The only way out of this pandemic is to recover together – no country is safe until all countries are safe."

Tearfund is part of the People & # 39; s Vaccine Alliance, a growing movement of health and humanitarian organizations, world leaders, health professionals, religious leaders and economists who urge everyone in every country to have fair and free access to one being tested Covid-19 vaccine has been charging.

The campaign shows that rich countries have enough doses to vaccinate nearly three times everyone, while poor countries do not have enough to even reach health workers and people at risk. If nothing changes dramatically, billions of people around the world will not get a safe and effective vaccine for years.

Organizations that support this movement urge governments to ensure that pharmaceutical and research institutions working on a vaccine share science, technological know-how and intellectual property so that enough safe and effective vaccines can be made.

So far, all Moderna cans and 96 percent of Pfizer / BioNTech cans have been purchased from rich countries.

In welcome contrast, Oxford / AstraZeneca has pledged to deliver 64 percent of their cans to people in developing countries. Despite their measures to increase supply, they can reach a maximum of 18 percent of the world's population next year.

Maggie was inspired to get into nursing after being helped by a nurse at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh when she was 16 and saw the sight of her younger sister on a ventilator in intensive care.

She explained, "From that moment on, I have known that it is your job as a nurse to take care of and alleviate the fears of those you meet. Just as this nurse did for me. I can do this and I really am happy about it." Be back in the NHS and make a real difference in the midst of this pandemic. This vaccine will allay fears and save lives.

"I am reminded daily that offering a safe, free and life-saving vaccine means we are truly privileged. But I firmly believe that neither poverty nor country of residence should be an obstacle to that.

"While I spend my days giving the trick to people here at Queen Mary & # 39; s Hospital in Roehampton, I would definitely like to believe that those in other parts of the world won't have to wait as long to see this life-saving opportunity too It is important that they are not forgotten or left behind. "

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