Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

September 30, 2009

'Gift of Life' Pampers/UNICEF campaign

I had planned to write a post this week about ‘Greed’ as part of the ‘Seven Deadly Sins of Parenting’ theme I’ve been running recently. That was until I attended the launch of the 2009 Pampers/UNICEF ‘1 pack = 1 vaccine’ campaign. Having heard the most humbling stories about how little some people have and survive on, and how such a simple thing as a vaccine can have such a dramatic impact on entire communities, greed just simply isn’t an appropriate subject matter.

I feel extremely privileged to have been asked to help this campaign by blogging about it to raise awareness. So, that's exactly what I am doing.

The campaign, which I am sure many of you are already familiar with, aims to provide 100 million tetanus vaccines this year and to reach the amazing target of eliminating tetanus completely by 2012.

How can you help? It is quite simply a no-brainer. For the months of October, November and December, all you have to do to help reach the target number of vaccines is to buy the specially marked Pampers nappies and/or wipes. 1 pack = 1 vaccine. Simple maths (even for someone who failed their O’Level in the subject!).

If your children are out of nappies, you can still help, either by buying some nappies or wipes for a friend (makes a nice change from a packet of biscuits), or by clicking on the 1 download = 1 donation button on the Pampers website, or by clicking the badge at the very top of this blog page.

The campaign’s ambassador is actress, mum, and genuinely lovely lady, Natascha McElhone (star of The Truman Show and Californication among many others). Natascha visited Angola recently with the Pampers/UNICEF team to see first-hand the impact of previous campaigns. Her stories about the women and children living in communities without so much as a clean, sterilised knife to cut a new born baby’s umbilical cord, simply have to inspire us thoroughly spoilt, pampered and indulged parents to do something incredibly simple to help.

This year alone, 128,000 newborn babies, and literally thousands of women in non industrialised countries will die as a result of the tetanus disease - a disease which is preventable. If you're in any doubt as to whether this is something you can commit to supporting, I ask you to simply read the following.

Newborn tetanus strikes rapidly. A newborn infected with tetanus may appear perfectly healthy. Symptoms usually appear from three days after birth, when the baby’s jaw and facial muscles may tighten due to the tetanus poison. The baby’s mouth will continue to grow more rigid so that it becomes “locked” (thus the name “lockjaw” given to tetanus) and the newborn will no longer be able to breastfeed. The newborn’s body may stiffen or arch and he or she may convulse when stimulated by light, sound or being touched. Finally, the newborn may no longer be able to breathe and will therefore die.

You've already given the gift of life to your own children. By supporting this campaign you can help to give that gift of life to another baby, and further the progress towards eliminating the tetanus disease completely. And that would be an amazing achievement to witness in our lifetime.

For more information on the campaign and the tetanus disease, please visit the Pampers or UNICEF websites.



  1. A lovely, well-written and thoughtful post. I'm happy to be in your company! ;) Here's to hitting that goal.

  2. great post. have to say i love the dress!

  3. Here's to a successful campaign!

    P.S I was admiring your outfit too....

  4. Who's the GrandmaOctober 1, 2009 at 12:03 PM

    Having read your informative blog and seeing how easy it is to help I have just hit the 1 download = 1 donation button. Good song too! It is quite distressing to see the volume of needless deaths of babies and mothers in this day and age. I would like to appeal to all Grandmas (maybe Grandads?)and ask them to download the 1 donation button also and help in this way. Go on get those buttons pressed and lets eradicate TETNUS together. I take it you can download as often as you like. Good work ladies and gentleman.

  5. Nice and wonderful post. I am here to learn more on Gift of Life.

  6. WEll done you.. I worked with UNICEF for years so know first hand (Iraq, Sierre Leone and Zambia)how effective, necessary and life-changing this organisation is. How did you get involved?.... our paths keep crossing!!

  7. Somehow landed here, what a thought provoking post - will pass the message on.

    Lovely to meet you


  8. Hi H, Great post and great meeting with you at the conference. My best to you and the family. Stay in touch, David

  9. This is a great campaign and great piece of work that you do!


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