While there have been significant achievements accomplished in the field of immunization, including by the GAVI Alliance, to bring new vaccines to the poorest countries, persistent gaps have revealed that immunization needs a major booster shot.
In medicine, we are taught to examine a patient by first looking and then palpating (or touching). Next, we percuss (a gentle knocking on the patient which often is not needed) and then we auscultate (or listen with our stethoscope). The routine is unconscious after doing it enough.
After more than 30 years of humanitarian aid operations in some of the world's most dangerous and/or autocratically-run places, I felt that it was at least worth a try to see what access an international NGO could have to people in need.
Nothing beats having fun in medicine and helping a child get through a potentially painful procedure. Was it Bono in action on stage, a great song by an incredible band or a cool little gizmo that helped Mahmood and me get this test done?
Marion, age 3, was first registered in our malnutrition program. She was measured and found to be 90 centimeters tall and was only 9.9 kilograms. For her to be moderately malnourished she had to be at least 11 kilograms.