Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Emergency vaccination drive by Caritas
Measles death toll rockets in deprived areasA child is vaccinated at a temporary Caritas clinic in Karachi
- ucanews.com reporter, Karachi
- February 28, 2013
Caritas Pakistan launched a month-long measles vaccination drive yesterday in the slums of the country’s largest city, as a growing outbreak claims more lives across the country.
According to the World Health Organization, 154 children died of measles last month mostly in Sindh province. More than 300 deaths were recorded nationwide last year.
"We’re targeting four major slums,” said Dominic Gill, executive secretary of Caritas in Karachi archdiocese.
“The number of cases is growing. Our focus is on poor communities where medical facilities are scarce. We are talking about families who cannot even afford three meals a day,” he said.
He was speaking yesterday at a clinic set up in a street in front of the Blessed Charles de Foco Church in Karachi’s Saif-ul-Marri Goth slum. A total of 344 children were vaccinated on the first day of the drive.
Caritas Pakistan plans to extend the vaccination drive to three dioceses in Punjab province -- Lahore archdiocese, Multan and Faisalabad dioceses. The Church’s social arm also plans to organize hygiene awareness seminars in association with other Christian organizations.
The recent spike in the number of measles cases and deaths are a result of malnutrition, an ongoing power crisis and Islamic fundamentalism, which opposes vaccinations as well as a lack of government action, the Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians said earlier this week.
“There was no follow-up to a national vaccination campaign conducted five years ago,” said Doctor Muhammad Tahir Chaudhry, general secretary of the organization.
“Also, religious groups oppose vaccines which come from Western countries. This ignorance is killing our children,” he added.