In honor of World Immunization Week, the CDC and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation each highlighted the importance of stopping measles by welcoming the talented illustrator Sophie Blackall to open ‘Let Every Child Have a Name: The Road to a World Without Measles’. The exhibit was inspired by Ms. Blackall’s trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in May 2012, where she met and spoke with families and health workers affected by measles. The exhibit is on view in the atrium of the Gates Foundation’s main building all week.
The CDC’s Measles/Rubella Day on Monday the 22nd was a fitting opportunity to launch the exhibit as part of their series of events for World Immunization Week. Partners in the fight against measles including Lion’s International, the American Red Cross and CDC staff attended the event.
Next week, Sophie will travel to northern India with her daughter to witness routine immunization in clinics, and join health workers in communities to take part in India’s measles campaign, which aims to vaccinate 134 million kids against measles.
In an interview she gave to The Atlantic recently, Sophie says: “Just as my mother taught me, I have tried to teach my children to use their hands and open their eyes. To retain their natural curiosity and look for details and appreciate the absurd. In return, they inspire me to no end with the things they notice and respond to, funny, sad, beautiful, and strange alike, and the things they make, cakes and rabbit houses and overflowing sketchbooks. My daughter, Olive, is coming with me to India to see an immunization campaign with UNICEF and the Measles & Rubella Initiative. I am so looking forward to sharing this experience with her and to comparing and sorting and processing all that we see.”
View Sophie Blackall’s DR Congo measles exhibit: http://rdcrss.org/PLVFMW
View the video that tells the story of Sophie’s journey, giving a behind-the scenes look at how she creates her beautiful illustrations: http://youtu.be/eXeEKopYCAg