By Rotary Action Group for Family Health and AIDS Prevention
The Rotary Action Group for Family Health & AIDS Prevention (RFHA) is a Rotary International-recognized action group that mobilizes and guides Rotary members to take on sustainable projects to promote healthy families and communities around the globe. RFHA creates and implements large scale community development and humanitarian service programs for disease prevention, screenings, and treatment and education to improve the lives of children and families who lack access to preventive healthcare and education.
Our proven, signature, scalable program, Rotary Family Health Days (RFHD), is in its 11th year and has been implemented across Africa and India through a public-private partnership model. At the recent launch of RFHD 2022 in South Africa, the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo, said, “This year’s event will further contribute significantly towards the [health of] informal settlements and farming communities. The RFHD will drive a clarion call to community members to access health, wellness and screening services in order to contribute towards achieving the 95-95-95 UNAIDS targets.”
About Rotary Family Health Days
RFHDs provide free health screenings, life-saving immunizations, education on disease prevention & treatment, and crucially, referrals for follow-on essential care to nearby community members. RFHDs are an annual three-day initiative providing holistic, comprehensive, preventive health programs both for communicable and non-communicable diseases. This program is executed for the community, in the community, and by the community, with RFHA as the convener.
US$44 million worth of services and materials are donated by Rotary members, governments, and private and NGO partners to support Rotary Family Health Days each year, offering a 44:1 return on cash contributions. We have delivered over 11 million free healthcare service to over 2.6 million people. We are just getting started.
Rotary Family Health Days offer:
- screening and testing for HIV/AIDS, TB, cancer, diabetes, blood pressure, hearing & vision, Hepatitis B&C followed by referrals to quality care as needed
- immunizations for Polio, measles, early childhood vaccinations and supplements
- education and counseling across a variety of areas and
- more specialized medical services such as women’s health, neurology, x-rays and paediatric and dental services to name a few.
The integrated approach not only spans a variety of health screenings, but also allows people to come forward for testing without the stigma that might typically be associated with singular screening.
Why We Run Rotary Family Health Days
We know half of the world’s population cannot access affordable healthcare, so RFHDs are vital for the well-being and survival of babies, children and adults across Africa, India and other developing countries.
“On top of this startling statistic, the previous two years has seen a global pandemic overshadowing other diseases, resulting in them being neglected, with programs targeting HIV/AIDS and TB being set back by six years or more. The Rotary Family Health Days program bridges this gap. It is now more than ever that RFHA needs to be the vehicle which drives crucial essential support and change,” said Sue Paget, CEO, RFHA Inc.
Where We Run RFHD
To date we have run RFHDs in Uganda, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia, Togo, Lesotho, Ghana, Eswatini, Benin, South Africa and the State of Madya Pradesh in India. We are also launching the program in ten new countries in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We are excited to work in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which will allow us to expand and scale our Rotary Family Health Days in numerous other countries. We will leverage this contribution across a two-year pilot program which will enable us to roll out RFHDs in 10 new countries,” added Sue.
“Access to healthcare is a human right that we want to ensure everyone has access to. We want to strengthen the healthcare system by working with government, local NGO’s and both private and public partners on our vision to improve health for all,” said Sue.
There are various ways you can get involved in our mission to save and improve lives. Get in touch if you would like to volunteer or partner with us or join the Rotary Action Group. And if your Rotary or Rotaract club is interested in hosting a Rotary Family Health Day site, we would love to talk.
Rotary Action Groups specialize in a community development area of priority and lend their expertise to club and districts by partnering on related service initiatives to make a sustainable, scalable impact. Learn more about working with Rotary’s 27 Action Groups: www.rotary.org/actiongroups.
Each year, on 1 December, the world commemorates World AIDS Day. People around the world unite to show support for people living with HIV and to remember those who have died from AIDS-related illnesses.
Each World AIDS Day focuses on a specific theme, which this year will be Equalize. UNAIDS is urging each of us to address the inequalities which are holding back progress in ending AIDS. This year’s theme joins a growing list of challenges that World AIDS Day has alerted people to globally.
Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first ever international day for global health. Every year, United Nations agencies, governments and civil society join together to campaign around specific themes related to HIV. World AIDS Day remains as relevant today as it’s always been, reminding people and governments that HIV has not gone away. There is still a critical need for increased funding for the AIDS response, to increase awareness of the impact of HIV on people’s lives, to end stigma and discrimination and to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.
Find out more about this UN-designated observance by visiting www.unaids.org/en/World_AIDS_Day.