Committing to health advancements amidst a global pandemic

By Rotary Service & Engagement staff

Since it was first declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020 by the World Health Organization, the United Nations reports the novel coronavirus outbreak has halted or reversed progress in health around the world. 90% of countries are still reporting one or more disruptions to essential health services and a shortage of health workers remain an issue in many regions of the world.

By working with Rotary’s experts in the medical sector, we have an opportunity to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our global health systems and continue advancing our work towards the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals 3, good health and well-being.

One strategy to tap into the professional expertise of Rotary members across the world include collaborations through Rotary Action Groups. Action Groups are organized and led by Rotary members and friends with an expertise in and a passion for an area of specialization. Supporting clubs and districts with humanitarian projects in their field, Action Groups can help clubs undertake a community assessment, create a project plan, find partners, and develop a monitoring and evaluation framework to help you quantify outcomes and increase impact. 13 of our 27 Action Groups work in disease prevention and treatment. Connect with one directly to explore how to work together:

  • Addiction Prevention advises clubs and districts how to tackle substance abuse and addiction in a structural long-term manner. 
  • Alzheimer’s/Dementia supports Rotary members with family members afflicted with Alzheimer’s or dementia and assists with projects to support the care offered to individuals with Alzheimer’s or dementia. 
  • Blindness Prevention promotes eye health and vision worldwide.
  • Blood Donation supports volunteer blood donation and local community blood centers. 
  • Diabetes works toward the awareness, prevention, treatment, management, and rehabilitation for complications of the global diabetes epidemic. 
  • Family Health/AIDS Prevention works across Africa and India to provide free quality health resources to people in need. 
  • Health Education and Wellness promotes good health and wellness through healthy lifestyle choices and disease prevention.
  • Hearing helps clubs and districts participate in projects to help those with hearing loss. 
  • Hepatitis Eradication helps clubs and districts with hepatitis screening and testing campaigns. 
  • Malaria works to end malaria by adapting methods to lower transmission rates and scale up prevention and treatment interventions. 
  • Mental Health offers practical activities and toolkits that any club can use as part of an advocacy campaign or intervention project
  • Multiple Sclerosis promotes awareness and encourages clubs to partner on projects to support impacted individuals and their families. 
  • Polio Survivors supports and promotes projects that improve access to quality health services for people with disabilities, strengthen rehabilitation services, and include access to assistive products. 

Working in partnership with these groups, we can help advance key targets within Sustainable Development Goal 3, including:

  1. Ending the epidemic of water-borne and communicable diseases by 2030;
  2. Strengthening the prevention and treatment of substance abuse;
  3. Achieving universal health coverage;
  4. Supporting the research and development of vaccines and medicines for communicable and non-communicable diseases;
  5. Increasing health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of health workforce;
  6. Strengthening the capacity for early warning, risk and management of national and global health risks.

Connect with a group directly or reach out to your district international service committee to identify a nearby member with expertise in disease prevention and treatment.


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