Community Resilience and Hope: Celebrating Immunization Success

The household of Manur Madey Adan is nestled in the heart of the Daryeel Shabeelow settlement of Baidoa, just 8 kilometers from the bustling main town. Originally displaced from the tranquil village of Bideeri, situated 45 kilometers outside Baidoa, Manur stands as the eldest child in the household at a tender age of 4 years, with two younger siblings in tow. Yet, amidst the humble abode and familial warmth, Manur’s health had remained vulnerable, for he had never been vaccinated. His parents, long categorized as habitually noncompliant, held steadfast to an extreme religious ideology and misconceptions about immunization, particularly regarding the Oral Polio Vaccine. Their resistance echoed through the corridors of skepticism, casting shadows over the crucial necessity of safeguarding their children’s health through vaccination.

I am not exaggerating to say that this team is one of the best in the Region and the success of this programme is down to them despite all the challenges they face

Manuurs Mother

In the midst of this skepticism and uncertainty, a ray of hope emerged in the form of READO (Relief, Education, and Development Organization), a beacon of change and progress in the community. Through the relentless efforts of READO, Manur’s mother found herself attending the enlightening sessions held in the heart of the Daryeel Shabeelow IDP settlement. It was amidst these gatherings, aptly named mother-to-mother sessions, that a transformative journey began. Mothers, once separated by doubts and fears, now found solace in shared experiences, beliefs, and newfound knowledge about the importance of immunization. Manur’s mother, a newcomer to these sessions, found herself immersed in a sea of enlightenment, shedding the cloak of ignorance that once shrouded her beliefs. “This is my first time participating in such sessions,” she confessed, “and it has been truly eye-opening. I now understand the importance of immunization, thanks to the discussions and support from fellow participants. I have shared what I’ve learned with my husband, and together, we are ready to embrace immunization for our child.”

On the auspicious day of June 2nd, 2023, Manur, adorned with innocence and hope, received his first immunization, marking the inception of a journey towards a healthier, brighter future. Guided by the unwavering dedication of his mother, Manur faithfully attended every appointment at the READO/Daryeel Shabeelow center, ensuring he received his crucial vaccinations over the span of six months. With each dose administered, a shield of protection was woven around Manur, safeguarding his health and fortifying his resilience against preventable diseases. On December 8th, 2023, amidst the whispers of triumph and joy, Manur received his final dose, a testament to the power of perseverance and community support.

In a heartwarming gesture of appreciation and encouragement, READO, witnessing Manur’s transformation firsthand, bestowed upon him a gift of new clothes and a football. This symbolic recognition not only celebrated Manur’s newfound health but also underscored the collective efforts of the community in ensuring a brighter future for every child. As Manur joyously embraced his gifts, captured in timeless photographs of celebration, his mother’s words resonated with gratitude and admiration. “I am not exaggerating to say that this team is one of the best in the region,” she proclaimed, “and the success of this program is a testament to their unwavering dedication, despite the challenges they face.”

Indeed, the success of READO’s immunization program in Baidoa is a testament to the power of resilience, compassion, and community-driven initiatives. Through proactive identification, door-to-door outreach, and the dissemination of key messages, READO’s teams have paved the way for a healthier, brighter future for countless children in Baidoa and beyond. Each success story, like Manur’s, serves as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path towards a world where every child has the opportunity to thrive, one immunization at a time.

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