Alana asked each of us here at The Immunization Partnership to write a little about how we got here and why we do what we do. This week we continue the series with Anna, President/CEO.
Anna Dragsbaek, JD | President/CEO
Watching mothers in Africa hike ten miles or more through the bush with babies strapped to their backs is impressive under any circumstances. But when that mother is trekking to the closest health center because she wants to provide her child with life-saving vaccines, it is an awe inspiring maternal act of love. In fact, if you ever visit my office, you will see a batik painting of an African women with a baby strapped onto her back which reminds me every day of the power of mothers.
As a Mom myself, I can really relate to that overt act of maternal love and devotion. True, I won the lottery at birth and have been lucky to live a life in which I have never had to even consider strapping a child to my back and walking miles through the bush in nothing more than flip flops just to get my babies immunized, but that doesn’t lessen my maternal instinct to protect my children (and your children and all the children of the world). A mother’s love is universal — that’s what Africa taught me, as did China, Singapore, Italy, and Denmark — all of which I have called home over the years.
Motherhood definitely brought out that universal ‘momma-bear’ instinct in me that resides inside of mothers everywhere, but my awareness and appreciation of immunizations came long before anyone called me ‘Mom’. It all started back in 1990 when I would learn a powerful lesson about the value of immunizations from a man I would never meet. Just recently I was honored to share that story in a Ted Talk that I would like to share with you today as part of our “TIP Staff Spotlight Series” on why we are inspired to do the work we do. This Ted Talk is dedicated to mothers across the world who strap a baby to their back, or into a car seat, or onto the back of a bicycle, or into a baby sling and seek out immunizations to protect their child, and by extension all our children from the devastation of vaccine-preventable diseases. Thanks for your support and for pledging to join with mothers across the globe to prevent what’s preventable.