Rotary’s commitment to building healthier communities

By Azka Asif, RI Programs staff

Rotary’s commitment to creating a healthier world goes beyond the eradication of polio. Although our top priority is ending polio, Rotary members are devoted to fighting all diseases and providing services to the one in six people in the world who can’t afford to pay for health care. Rotary works to improve and expand access to low-cost and free health care in underdeveloped areas, while educating communities to help prevent the spread of diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. Many Rotary health projects focus on ensuring medical training facilities are located where the workforce lives.

This December, Rotary Disease Treatment and Prevention Month, we’re celebrating our commitment to building healthier communities. Here are just a few examples of club service projects working to prevent and treat diseases around the world:

  • In partnership with the Gazi University Neurology Department, the Rotary Club of
    Ankara-Kizilay (Turkey) works to provide support and treatment to multiple sclerosis patients who suffer from balance and gait disorders by providing world-class quality and effective rehabilitation services.
  • The Rotary Club of Islamabad (Bangladesh) provides free medical consultations, along with free medicine to nearly 50 needy people every Friday in a slum near Chittagong.
  • The Rotaract Club of Entebbe (Uganda) carried out HIV testing and counseling in an effort to raise awareness and educate the local community on how to prevent the spread of the HIV virus and other STIs.
  • In an effort to raise awareness for diabetes, the Rotary Club of New Owerri (Nigeria) led a public awareness campaign in their local community. They conducted health screenings, provided nutritional counseling, held lectures on how to prevent and treat diabetes, and provided food supplements to diabetic patients. More than 300 people were in attendance and nearly 230 individuals were screened.
  • On World Disability Day (3 December) the Rotary Club of Dibrugarh organized a special magic show for the children of Ashwash, a school for differently abled children. This was a chance for club members to spread smiles and allow these children to experience something different as many of them had never seen a magic show before.
  • Dengue is mosquito-borne viral disease common in tropical areas that affects nearly 1 billion people each year. Due to high incident of dengue cases in Barangay Pasong Tamo, Quezon City, the Rotary Club of Diliman North (Philippines) conducted an Anti-Dengue fumigation project in the community to help stop the spread of the disease.

Take action during the month of December by supporting health education programs, helping immunize against infectious diseases, and supporting education and training of health care workers through scholarships, stipends and public recognition. We encourage you to check back here for tips, resources, and inspirational success stories to help plan club and district health care projects. Add your voice to the conversation using the blog’s commenting feature and share how your club supports health care initiatives on Rotary Showcase.

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