Sunday, April 13, 2008
Marching for Child Survival
Part of the workshop summit I referred to in my previous post is to wake up before the sun peeks over the horizon to cause traffic in Roxas Boulevard for the rights of kids to survive. Specifically, it was to cover the BATA (Bata sa Tamang Alaga) Movement's March for Child Survival.
It's actually more of a vaccine advocacy--doctors enforcing vaccination schedules to ensure that Filipino kids don't die of contagious but highly preventable diseases. And I think it's good to make people aware of what they can do to keep from getting sick. Here, kids are carrying banners that say, among other things: "Pneumococcal disease ALIS!!!" (Pneumococcal disease, be gone!!!), and "Save the lives of the innocent!"
Before the march, a delegate at the summit told me, "This must be so apt for your publication! Kids' health and child survival...."
"Sure," I said, thinking about this post in Generations for Life. "But before we fight for the child's right to be vaccinated, I think we must fight against abortion." I noticed how the march so much resembled a march against abortion: there were kids marching with placards referring to the child's right to live, and then there was the display of strollers covered in black cloth, signifying the death of children.
The delegate laughed and said, "You're right--life first.... You know I never thought of it that way." Hopefully, more than one of us marched not only for child survival but also for life that day. It makes waking up so early so much more worthwhile.