By Christina Sweeney, Rotary Service & Engagement staff
According to the United Nations, the COVID-19 pandemic has halted or in some cases reversed progress in global health. It has also shortened life expectancies. It’s more important than ever to provide quality health care and promote well-being for everyone, especially those who are most vulnerable, including mothers and children.
Rotary is working to provide communities with the help and training they need to improve health care for mothers and infants. Mobile prenatal clinics in Haiti, mobile cancer screening units in India, and support for home births in Nigeria are some of the ways our members are working to ensure that mothers and children have opportunities for a healthy future.
April is Maternal and Child Health Month in Rotary. Find inspiration from Rotary members improving lives around the world:
- In Nigeria, the Rotary Club of Abuja Maitama distributed birth kits to pregnant women in their communities and helped organize talks at the local hospital during which nurses and midwives shared information about hygiene during and after pregnancy, the benefits of breastfeeding and how to breastfeed, safety for pregnant women and newborns, and the importance of vaccinating babies. Read more.
- In Uruguay, the Rotary Club of Río Branco created two dedicated breastfeeding spaces in city childcare centers. Through this project, the club is helping to encourage breastfeeding by providing an accessible and comfortable area for new mothers. Read more.
- In India, the Rotary Club of Shri Aurobindo College organized Project Rudhir: Welcoming Womanhood to normalize the stigmatized concept of menstruation. They visit economically disadvantaged areas to educate on proper menstrual hygiene and distribute menstrual products. So far, the project has successfully distributed more than 6,850 menstrual pads to 680 beneficiaries. Read more.
- In the United States, the Rotary Club of Englewood in Florida organized a program for girls ages 8-18 to support their social and emotional development and leadership skills through dynamic sessions, participatory activities, field trips, and mentorship opportunities. Read more.
Discover resources that can help you take action to support mothers and children:
- Contact the Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal, and Child Health, the Rotary Action Group for Clubfoot, or other health-focused action groups to connect with experts who can advise your club about projects. Action groups can help you plan and implement projects, find partners, and obtain resources for your project.
- Visit Rotary Showcase to learn how Rotary and Rotaract clubs are improving health care for mothers and children around the world, and to find inspiration for your next project.
- Find tips for organizing successful projects to support maternal and child health in Rotary’s Areas of Focus guide.