By Stacey Chikoto, member of the Rotaract Club of Toronto, Canada
This year seems to have flown by so fast! Time flies when you’re having fun with Rotaract and before you know it, the end of the year is upon us. December is not only a month of holiday celebrations around the world, but it is also Rotary Disease Prevention and Treatment month. While it might seem odd to put these two topics in the same sentence, they do have a commonality in that the end of year holidays bring about a mindset of hope and looking towards a better future, which can be applied to fuel our motivation in the fight against disease.
Disease prevention and treatment is one of the world’s most critical and widespread humanitarian concerns, and the Rotaract Club of Toronto is constantly working to play our part in addressing this need. We do this by supporting and fundraising for organisations that educate people on how to prevent diseases and help people get access to treatments. Some examples of events we have partaken in are:
- The AIDS poker walk where we joined other clubs to raise funds for international and local initiatives that help fight HIV/AIDS through education, prevention, treatment, and providing support for orphans, surviving guardians and people living with AIDS.
- Organising a blood donation drive in September at a time when the Canadian Blood Services had critically low volumes.
Education is also a big factor in conquering disease, as with knowledge comes prevention. Certain diseases such as polio have no treatment, but are preventable through vaccines and raising awareness. Through the efforts of Rotary and partner organisations, the world is now more than 99.9% polio-free. We’ve gone from 1,000 new cases each day to less than one per week! This World Polio Day, our club had the privilege of having Eddie Rice, a huge advocate for improving accessibility in Canada, and Erica Mugan who works for March of Dimes Canada, educate us on polio and its impact. We also implemented a social media campaign to raise awareness about polio.
As we work together towards providing everyone with the basic human right of health, learn how you can help and join the fight for a healthier world.
Happy holidays and best wishes for a healthy, happy, and successful new year!