Emma Bunton has teamed up with Pampers UNICEF to help eliminate Maternal & Newborn tetanus.
The mum-of-two has recently come back from a trip to Madagascar, where she has been working with Pampers and UNICEF on their '1 pack = 1 vaccine' campaign to see the real impact that the campaign is having.
The sole objective of the campaign is to eliminate Maternal & Newborn Tetanus across the globe, and Madagascar was confirmed to have eliminated Maternal & Newborn Tetanus by the World Health Organisation in June this year.
Since the Pampers UNICEF "1 pack = 1 vaccine" campaign started in 2006, Pampers has donated funds for 300 million vaccines; helping 100 million parents celebrate their babies' first time moments and helping eliminate the disease in 15 countries- that's five more countries since the 2013 campaign.
Emma chats to Female First about her trip to Madagascar and how it's made her more determined to spread the word.
- Hi Emma. You have partnered up with Pampers UNICEF to eliminate Maternal & Newborn tetanus. Could you tell us a little more about the campaign?
I've been working with UNICEF for years and last year when this campaign came about I felt that I could completely work with and identify with this being a mother myself. The whole campaign is very simple- you buy one pack of Pampers and it equals one vaccine for new born tetanus. They have already eliminated tetanus in 10 different countries and since last year we have made it to 15 countries. It's amazing.
We're helping towards eliminating the disease and thanks to the people who have done there bit by buying Pampers has helped massively, but there is still a little way to go.
- You've recently visited Madagascar, which has been confirmed to be rid of tetanus. What did you do during your visit?
We headed out of the city to a health clinic which is about 2 hours away. This is where the mothers go for the vaccinations and it sounds simple, but mothers have to walk hours for this vaccination to ensure that their child has a healthy start in life. If they can't make it, they have these wonderful people from the health clinic who take the vaccination to them. It has to be safely stored and then taken out to the rural places and then out to the mothers. Meanwhile, these vaccinations have to be kept at a certain temperature, it's quite unbelievable what these people have to go through to get these vaccinations but it's something many of us take for granted.
I also met a wonderful mum who was 2 weeks over due and she was at the clinic in one of the late wards which is basically a stone, tiny room but we had a chat and it was inspiring and we spoke for hours. All she wanted was for her baby to be born, clean and safe. I met other babies and got to hold one of the new borns, he was gorgeous! It was an amazing trip- really inspiring.
- What does this mean for families who live in Madagascar and being rid of the disease?
Just before I left to go to Madagascar, we got the news that tetanus had been eliminated from Madagascar. So we thank everyone who has bought Pampers and helped towards eliminating this disease.
- Having two children of your own- Was this the main factor as to why you wanted to be part of the campaign?
100%! The one thing you want for your child is to be healthy and get the best start in life. Everyone deserves to have the best start so it was important for me to see changes happen.
- Do you encourage your own friends and family to get involved in the campaign?
Yes- They already purchase Pampers and I say: 'Well you're are already helping out', and it's great to see and they feel great for doing their bit for the charity.
- Do you hope that more parents will get behind the campaign and show their support?
Of course. Coming back from the trip has made me even more determined to spread the word. I speak to mums on my daily shop and ask them to pick up Pampers and help with the campaign.
- How can parents help in the process of eliminating Tetanus?
You can go online, there are lots of videos to watch and if you do, this provides another vaccine for the new borns.
- What impact has this had on the health workers in these countries that have had help from Pampers UNICEF?
It's all about education and word of mouth. Making sure that all these women in these villages know about the vaccinations.
- What is the response from mothers who live in these countries?
Most of the mums who I have spoken to, I've asked if they've had the vaccinations and how they found out about it, and they said it's become more and more about educating each other about experiences that each mother has had.
- Now that you are back from the trip- What is next on the agenda for you?
Now that I am back from Madagascar, it's all about spreading the word and urging parents to buy Pampers to help.
Emma Bunton travelled to Madagascar with Pampers and UNICEF for the launch of the ninth 1 pack=1 vaccine campaign. For every specially marked pack of Pampers bought, Pampers will donate the cost of one vaccine to help UNICEF in the fight against Maternal and Newborn Tetanus (MNT).Visit facebook.com/PampersUKIre to find out more.