Living in rural Uganda, it wasn’t until Elvida was nearly 60 years-old that she learned about the lifesaving power of vaccines from a local health worker. Elvida, like many other mothers of her generation, lost six of her children to vaccine-preventable diseases because at the time vaccines were unavailable in her region of Uganda. Despite this, Elvida is filled with hope for the future and has become a champion of vaccines within her community. These vaccines have helped protect countless children, but only one has earned the title of “miracle baby” from Elvida; her grandson.
Elvida lives with her daughter, Naume. At only two years old, Naume contracted a case of polio that paralyzed her legs. Since Naume experienced such extreme consequences of a vaccine-preventable disease, she and her mother do everything they can to make sure her child’s life is different. Naume has a beautiful and healthy baby boy, Manuel, and proudly shares that he is up-to-date on his childhood vaccines. Both mother and grandmother know these vaccines protect Manuel from infectious disease and give him a chance at a healthy, happy future. With a huge smile on her face, Naume shares, “Manuel won’t be isolated as I have been. I want him to go to school and become a doctor.”
Elvida takes her role as Manuel’s grandmother very seriously and does her part to make sure that he is immunized. With the help of the community health worker, Elvida takes Manuel to the health clinic for his medical appointments and tracks his immunizations. She is grateful the lifesaving vaccines Manuel has been lucky enough to receive are available in their community, but knows the work to improve access to vaccines must continue.