Alongside more than 30 other artists and writers across the world, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has dedicated her time and talents to a cause that is close to her heart: childhood vaccinations. Adichie's short story "Olikoye," which is now available on Medium, appears in The Art of Saving a Life, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-commissioned collection of stories and works of art about how vaccines have and will change the course of history. These stories have been and will be unveiled over the course of the month. According to the Art of Saving a Life website:
Vaccines are one of the greatest advances in human history. They have saved millions of lives, and led to better health and opportunity for children and families everywhere...
The stories behind this success and the future promise of immunization must be told.
They are stories of risk and bravery, the passion and dedication of scientists, the love of parents, and the determination of health workers.
Nigerian-born Adichie tells the story of a newborn with the name Olikoye, and the powerful, compassionate man that is his namesake — the man that has given this baby and countless others in Nigeria new hope for a longer and healthier life.
The Art of Saving a Life also includes contributions by Mia Farrow, the Grammy-winning Angélique Kidjo, Annie Leibovitz, Geraldine Brooks, and many other talented artists and activists. Adichie herself studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half before leaving Nigeria for the United States. Her most recent novel Americanah won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction.