A group of Rotarian physicians from India — most of them orthopedic surgeons — assisted by nonmedical volunteers, performed corrective surgeries on young polio patients ages 1 to 18 at two hospitals in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. The project was partly … Continue reading →
By Marion Bunch, Rotarians for Family Health and AIDS Prevention (formerly RFFA)
World AIDS Day 1 December holds special meaning to me. I lost my second born child, Jerry, to AIDS early in the American epidemic (1994). At that time, the disease was so stigmatizing, I felt quite lonely not being able to discuss Jerry’s illness with anyone outside my family. I never thought I’d do anything about it until one day, three years after his death, I felt a tap on the shoulder and a voice in my ear said “mom, get up and get going, you haven’t done anything, and it’s been three years.” Continue reading →
Dr. Francis Tusubira with children at a health camp in Namalemba.
By Dr. Francis “Tusu” Tusubira, Rotary Foundation Chair for District 9200 and a member of the Rotary Club of Kampala-North, Uganda
Rotary to me is about going into the trenches with communities and working with them. I like my feet and hands community muddy.
So I had serious reservations at first about packaged grants. It sounded like The Rotary Foundation would do all the work and it would be handed to Rotarians as a done deal. Then I received an email from the Foundation that Aga Khan University had been identified as a potential strategic partner to train nurses within their university system in Eastern Africa. They were asking if District 9200 would be interested. Continue reading →
A child receives a checkup during one of the health camps. Photo courtesy Rotary Club of Lagos-Palm Grove Estate
By Suman Ramesh, president of the Rotary Club of Lagos-Palm Grove Estate, Lagos State, Nigeria
My club organizes six health camps a year. During these camps, patients line up beginning very early in the morning for free consultations. Young women bring their children, and receive iron supplements, vitamin tablets, anti-malaria medication, and sometimes de-worming medicines. We see them smiling as they return home after their health checks, carrying their supplements and medicines.
Quite a number of elderly patients also attend the camps, gaining access to blood pressure checks, random blood sugar checks, and general health advice they would not otherwise be able to afford. Continue reading →
Alexandra Vinograd treats a patient at the hill-top hospital in northern Rwanda. Photo courtesy of Alexandra Vinograd
By Dr. Alexandra Vinograd, a former Rotary Scholar and Youth Exchange Student
I just returned home from two years living and working as a physician in rural Rwanda.
Like the other times I have returned home from abroad, I welcome the familiarity of things. I love understanding the subtleties of language and knowing how to greet someone without seeming awkward. I like the hot showers and my spring mattress and the coffee shop on the corner. Continue reading →
Part of the surgical team operates during the medical mission to Rwanda. Photo courtesy of District 3080
By Shaju Peter, past governor of District 3080 (India)
In April, a team of 16 medical specialists and 11 Rotary volunteers from District 3080 left India on a medical mission to Rwanda.
During a 12-day period, our team performed 210 procedures on patients selected in advance by doctors at the hospital in Kigali, the nation’s capital. The team of surgeons removed a gallbladder tumor, performed hip replacements, worked to repair throat and nasal passages, treated gallstones, and even performed facial surgery on a survivor of the 1994 genocide who had been struck by a machete. Continue reading →
A volunteer talks with a mother and her child during the maternal health camp on Delft Island, Sri Lanka. Photo courtesy Gehan de Alwis
By Gehan de Alwis, a member of the Rotary Club of Colombo Regency, Western Province, Sri Lanka
I was lucky recently to be a part of a team that visited a remote island off the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka as part of a prenatal and postnatal health camp.
The camp was supported by a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant initiated by my club, together with the Rotary Club of Colombo Fort, and our international partner, the Rotary Club of Newtown, Pennsylvania, USA. My trip with three other Rotarians, a Rotaractor, and a prospective Rotarian for the “mother and child” health camp began at 4:45 a.m. in Colombo. Continue reading →
The very last item I bought at the pharmacy the night before my trip to Haiti last February was Superglue. I doubt synthetic liquid adhesives land on many packing lists, but it was a must-have for me in case my old, brittle eyeglasses broke.
My glasses survived the trip without incident. The glue served a far more important purpose.
By John Hewko, Rotary International General Secretary
Welcome to our new blog designed to tell the Rotary story from a variety of angles and in many different voices. We’ll showcase stories of Rotarians fighting the war on polio—at National Immunization Days and through fundraisers in their communities. We’ll also give voice to those who are working to make a difference in our six areas of focus: peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development.