Posted by Pete Leenhouts on Sep 19, 2019

 

Rotary is dedicated to six areas of focus to build international relationships, improve lives, and create a better world to support our peace efforts and end polio forever. Taking action to save mothers and children is one of those six areas.

 

Nearly 6 million children under the age of five die each year because of malnutrition, poor health care, and inadequate sanitation. Rotarians expand sustainable long-term access to quality health care for mothers and their children.

 

Rotary provides education, immunizations, birth kits, and mobile health clinics. Women are taught how to prevent mother-to-infant HIV transmission, how to breast-feed, and how to protect themselves and their children from disease.

 

As an example, neonatal care for babies born prematurely is often inadequate or not available in many countries. Such was the case for the 24 communities served by Dr. Leopoldo Bevilacqua Regional Hospital, a state-run facility in Brazil’s Ribeira Valley. Lack of equipment meant some of the hospital’s most vulnerable newborns had to be transferred to other, more distant hospitals, which was a factor in the Brazilian state of São Paulo’s high infant mortality rate. 

 

To save mothers and children, two local Rotary Clubs, the Rotary Club of Registro-Ouro and the Rotary Club of Registro, partnered on a Rotary Foundation global grant with two clubs in Nakatsugawa, Japan.

Through the partnership, Brazilian Rotarians raised $172,500. They funded equipment including five incubators for the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), which nearly doubled the hospital’s capacity to care for fragile newborns. In 2013, 129 babies were admitted to the NICU; since the completion of the project, the hospital has been able to care for about 220 babies per year.  

 

Projects like this one, initiated, developed and funded by Rotarians are making progress ensuring mothers and children everywhere have access to good quality healthcare. 


For even more examples of how Rotarians take action to save mothers and children, check out these pages: https://www.rotary.org/en/our-causes/saving-mothers-and-children and https://www.rotary.org/en/rotarians-save-newborns-brazil
 

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