Retired Dundrum GP Ronnie Hamilton raises awareness of lack of coronavirus vaccine for the world’s poorest.
A retired Dundrum GP is marking the moment he received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine to raise awareness that 4 out of 5 people living in developing countries are not due to be vaccinated this year, 2021.
Ronnie Hamilton and his wife May (both aged 87) received their jabs on 14 January at the surgery in Dundrum where for many years Ronnie worked as a family doctor and his wife May was manager and practice nurse.
Dr Hamilton said: “We have received our first jab and it did not cause any ill effects. We have a concern for people in the poorer countries of the world. They may have difficulty getting the vaccine and must rely on social distancing and hand washing.
“Normally at this time of year we would be helping with the annual Lent lunches but they have had to be cancelled because of the lockdown restrictions.
“But donations can be given in other ways to finance the supply of clean water and soap to facilitate frequent hand washing in those poorer countries.”
They were photographed holding their vaccination cards and bars of soap, signifying that soap and water remain among the few defences against infection for people in low-income countries until vaccines are made widely available.
Ronnie and May have been Christian Aid supporters for many years. Every year during Lent, the couple – who are members of Castlewellan Interchurch Forum – help to organise soup lunches in the Castlewellan community centre to raise funds for Christian Aid and Trócaire.
Since the lunches began in 2003, the Forum has raised thousands of pounds for the charities’ work to bring hope to people living in extreme poverty around the world
Christian Aid Ireland’s Chief Executive, Rosamond Bennett thanked Ronnie and May for their support for Christian Aid, and said: “A global pandemic requires a global solution. It is very worrying that developing countries are at the back of the queue for the vaccination roll-out, despite severely lacking essential healthcare such as ventilators or ICU beds to help those who fall sick from the virus.
“Vaccines must be made available to everyone, everywhere, free of charge. None of us is safe until all of us are safe.”
Christian Aid has responded to the coronavirus pandemic in 27 countries which are also coping with extreme poverty.
As well as raising awareness of how to keep safe from coronavirus, Christian Aid has handed out soap to around 250,000 vulnerable people to help prevent the virus spreading.
The charity has also given food packages to nearly 60,000 people struggling to feed their families after losing work following lockdown.
To support Christian Aid’s work, please visit:
or telephone 028 9064 8133.