By Rotary Service Staff
According to the World Health Organization, 5.6 million children under age five died in 2016. More than half of those deaths were due to conditions that could have been prevented or treated by access to simple, affordable interventions.
Rotary members provide education, immunizations, birth kits, and mobile health clinics. Women are taught how to prevent mother-to-infant HIV transmission, how to breast feed, and how to protect themselves and their children from disease.
During April, Rotary Maternal and Child Health Month, take action to support mothers and children:
- In cooperation with local ministries of health, develop or support programs that provide immunizations and antibiotics. Measles, malaria, pneumonia, AIDS, and diarrheal diseases are the leading causes of death in children under five.
- Promote good nutrition. Include water, sanitation, and hygiene efforts to maximize child nutrition. Diarrheal diseases caused by contaminated water exacerbate malnutrition in children.
- Providing information about — and access to — family planning resources. Just filling the unmet need for contraception could reduce the number of maternal deaths by nearly one-third.
- Supporting accredited training programs for health professionals.
Looking for some projects to support? Check these out these projects on Rotary Ideas!
- Research has shown that play rooms in hospitals help sick children feel more comfortable and at home, which speeds up recovery and shortens hospital stays. The KIST Medical College in Kathmandu, Nepal, has a great pediatric facility with a cardiology and nephrology unit, but lacks a play area for young patients.
The Rotaract Club of KIST Medical College wants to establish a playroom for young patients and visitors so that they can feel at home. They have already found the space in the hospital for this room, but are now looking for financial support. Support their project.
- Smiles for Guatemala aims to improve the lives of Guatemalan children in need of cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries. The rate of cleft lip and palate are much higher in Guatemala than in places like the United States, where children are typically treated at birth. Guatemalan children may go into adolescence before a cleft lip or palate is treated, which can negatively impact the child’s quality of life and self-esteem.
The Rotary Club of Conshohocken Plymouth Whitemarsh in the United States seeks to secure the finances, medical personnel, and non-medical volunteers necessary to provide Guatemalan children with the life-changing surgeries they need. Support their efforts.
Add your club’s maternal and child health project to Rotary Ideas to find support or post your completed projects on Rotary Showcase. Join the conversation in the Maternal and Child Health discussion group!
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