This is Doctor Amiri.
After training to be a doctor in Khabul he decided a life of ease wasn’t for him and set his mind to ‘helping the world’s children’. His words.
He works where no one else wants to work – Sudan, Afghanistan – the ‘difficult’ regions. His primary focus is to help save mothers and children.
He is always smiling and laughing. A big, infectious laugh. But if you get him talking about his favourite subject, he’s passionate and knowledgeable and totally hypnotic to listen to.
He goes about solving problems with the same vigour a businessman would reserve for pulling in profits. In fact, no, he’s more passionate than that.
And everyone who meets him for the first time is utterly captivated by him.
I had the good fortune to spend nearly a week in the company of this amazing man while on a Unicef trip to Indonesia to witness the vaccination programmes they’re carrying out there in partnership with Pampers.
Pampers have been working with Unicef since 2006 to help eliminate Maternal and Newborn Tetanus (MNT) across the globe.
The campaign has been a MASSIVE success. To date more than 100 million mothers and babies across the globe have received the life-saving tetanus vaccine.
Just think about those numbers.
20 of the original 59 countries have eliminated the disease.
However, MNT still threatens the lives of millions of women and their newborn babies – some of them in the most isolated and hardest to reach communities.
And that’s where I went. To see how Unicef and Pampers are actively seeking out these people and saving lives. To the back of beyond where there are no roads or phones or hygiene.
Let me tell you, it was nothing short of life changing.
We arrived at the town on Sawa Erma, in Papua Eastern Indonesia. It took us 2 hours in a speed boat with a little outboard motor on the back to get there. It’s pretty remote.
But as we arrived, we discover that a 28-year-old mother is at the health centre there and is in trouble.
She had given birth on the banks of the river at a neighbouring village and collapsed soon after.
Her husband paddled 12 hours upstream, overnight, to get her and her newborn to Sawa Erma – as it houses the only doctor in the area.
HE PADDLED 12 HOURS OVERNIGHT in a dug-out boat I was too afraid to step into. And she bled all the way.
I cannot even comprehend how frightening that must be.
Anetta Enamti, was bleeding internally as a result of a stuck placenta following the birth of her tenth child. But the doctor in Sawa Erma was away and in his absence the nurses don’t have the authority to send her to the hospital in the town, another 2 hour journey away in a speed boat.
As her husband clutched her hand no one knows if she can be sent for the life-saving medical care she urgently needs because no one can assess the situation.
In steps Dr Amiri. I swear to your dear reader, we all collectively held our breath and held back tears as we watched him lovingly examine the weak and frightened Anetta, as her sister held her newborn baby outside the medical room and her husband hovered in the background not knowing what to do.
In the end we watched as Anetta and her husband Nicholas cuddled up in the back of a boat with their day-old daughter, headed for life-saving help.
But it highlights why tetanus vaccines are so important. Giving birth in dirty, unhygienic conditions with no trained health worker to help is where women are most at risk.
EVERY child deserves a decent start in life, no matter where it’s born.
When Doctor Amiri speaks, we all listen.
His voice is large and loud and loving and I am heartened that the needy children of this world have him.
By the way, that massive success story? That’s down to us mums here in the UK and Ireland.
Remember the Pampers packs with the “1 pack = 1 life-saving vaccine” declarations on? Anyone who bought those packs has helped.
And the Make A Difference campaign has restarted this month and runs until December.
How can you help? It’s super easy:
Buy a specially marked pack of Pampers = 1 vaccine.
Like the Pampers Facebook page = 1 vaccine.
Personalise your own Miffy story = 1 vaccine.
Download the free Pampers Out and About iPhone app = 1 vaccine.
You can actually save a life by simply clicking around on the internet. I’ve seen it in action and it’s awesome.
So please please, go do and let’s give inspirational men like Dr Amiri all the support they need.