I've written to GAVI, pointing out the extreme nature of the pneumococcal disease burden in Bundibugyo related to the highest prevalence of sickle cell disease in the world. But my email is unlikely to make much of a difference.
Prayer, on the other hand, could. Do we really believe that? Is prayer just for individual spiritual issues . . . or is it for lobbying? The heart of a king is movable through prayer .. . so the heart of an international scientific committee should also be fair game. I don't want to take resources away from anyone else, but I do believe I can make a case for the fact that if there is one place in the world to offer the pneumococcal vaccine, it should be Bundibugyo. After all, matters of justice, good sense, and mercy are all over the Bible. Matters of child survival form themes of Bible stories from Moses floating the NIle to Herod slaughtering the innocents. Death from pneumococcal bacteria is part of the impact of the Fall on our world. Fighting against that is legitimate Christian endeavor.
So please pray that GAVI would fund and implement a program to bring this not-so-new vaccine to Uganda. For those readers in more comfortable parts of the world, I'll just add that I saw a 6 month old today with a droopy, weak, sluggishly reflexive right leg, a sudden onset of paresis that could be polio (tests pending). Vaccines here are not a school requirement or an inconvenience, they are the line between walking and being paralyzed, between living and dying. Let us lobby on our knees.