Published in the Huffington Post
A deep pain grabbed my heart when I saw the television news ticker: “30,000 children died in Somalia in the last three months.” A major cause of my pain came from a personal feeling of guilt and shame when I realized how fortunate my family is.
This week, our third daughter, who was born prematurely, came home after spending her first month of life in the hospital. From the moment she was born she received the highest level of care available here in Bethlehem. A group of expert Palestinian doctors monitored her progress every hour using the latest technology. There were multiple staff members attending to her care with beeps, rings and dings coming from every machine around her crib. Insurance was not a problem and covered 90 percent of the costs related to her long stay in the hospital. I could not have asked or prayed for anything better. However, my joy is overshadowed with pain knowing that 30,000 Somali children perished. Sorrow grips me knowing that hundreds of thousands of children across the world do not survive their first month because of a $2 vaccine that was not provided for their mothers.