By Rotarians for Family Health & AIDS Prevention (RFHA)
Rotary Family Health Days is a signature program of Rotarians for Family Health & AIDS Prevention (RFHA) – A Rotarian Action Group. The Action Group’s signature program promotes healthy living and disease prevention by implementing a massive, annual campaign in Southern Africa and India that provides comprehensive, free health care services to tens of thousands of people in underprivileged communities.
Services include lifelong immunizations for children, such as for polio and measles, along with comprehensive life-saving annual screenings for HIV, TB, malaria, diabetes, hypertension and more. Core services are identified in consultation with the in-country Ministry of Health and are donated through a variety of Government and non-governmental organisations; unique to each country.
Since it first began in 2011, Rotary Family Health Days has provided more than 2 million people with critical health interventions, in accordance with RFHA’s mission to save and improve lives. The program has continued to expand across Africa and is now in seven countries. Recently with the inceptions in Benin, Togo, and Cote d’Ivoire this past year more than 20,000 additional people were served in those countries, led by Past RFHA Director and Advisor, Past District Governor Olowu Olugbemiga.
In Benin, nine sites were identified over the 200 km radius of Benin. All sites were community hospitals, making them easy to reach for residents and subsequently serving as local centers for treatment for anyone tested positive for HIV/AIDS. There were also two mobile clinics provided by a sponsor which offered health services to hard-to-reach rural communities. Along with the comprehensive health screenings, many breast cancer patients were also provided consultations. To promote better hygiene, proper hand washing techniques were taught at all sites.
Monitoring and Evaluation of the Rotary Family Health Days programme, and the link sustainability is critical to the success of this program. An extensive monitoring and evaluation tool has been developed in consultation with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Past Rotary International Director and RFHA Board Member Dr. Phil Slivers, and the South African Department of Health to track the services provided and the follow-up care provided at each site. Since 2014, we have been measuring our impact in all countries by doing 90-day follow-ups on the health sites. You can view our results from the South Africa campaign here and from the Impact Study here.
Rotary Family Health Days is a Rotarian Action Group-led initiative that leverages the power of partnerships, including partners that provide monetary sponsorships along with implementing partners that provide resources, services and supplies, such as each countrys’ Ministers of Health. Equally important in each country are the primary media partners that help raise awareness about the campaign and mobilize people to attend. In Africa, the value of the campaign through the partnerships exceeds 11 million dollars and is operating at a return of 37:1 for each dollar raised.
Rotarians for Family Health & AIDS Prevention aims to expand this campaign each year across Africa, India and into other countries where Rotarian leadership expresses interest.