Posted by Stella Roy on Dec 01, 2019
Every month is dedicated to one of the major themes of Rotary - this month it is one which Rotary is perhaps best known for, at least among non-Rotarians.
 
The eradication of polio has been Rotary International's major worldwide  effort since the early 1980’s.  And remarkable progress has been made – but we are not finished yet.
 
Disease prevention and treatment is one of the Rotary Foundation Areas of Focus (trivia question – what are the other areas of focus?). And for good reason.  The health and vitality of a person, a family and a community can be seriously impaired by what in many cases is a preventable disease.  Disease prevention is really a keystone to progress in other areas as well because of the interplay with other areas of focus like clean water and saving mothers and children.
 
Disease results in misery, pain, and poverty for millions of people worldwide. That’s why treating and preventing disease is so important to Rotarians. We lead efforts both large and small. We set up temporary clinics, blood donation centres, and training facilities in underserved communities struggling with outbreaks and health care access. We design and build infrastructure that allows doctors, patients, and governments to work together.
Rotarians combat diseases like malaria, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, in addition to polio. Prevention is important, which is why Rotary also focuses on health education and bringing people routine hearing, vision, and dental care.
 
 The challenge:
  • Infectious diseases are the leading killers of people living in poverty. (Harvard Medical School)
  • Sub‐Saharan Africa has 24% of the global disease burden but only 3% of the world’s health care workers and 1% of global health financial resources. (WHO)
  • Nearly all of the 14 million to 17 million children and adults who die each year from an infectious disease live in developing countries. (Global Health Council)
  • Malaria causes nearly a million deaths each year, the vast majority among children under five. (WHO)
  • Africa has 11% of the world’s population but an estimated 60% of people with HIV/AIDS. (WHO)
What can you do?
  • Devote a program to exploring projects related to disease prevention and treatment
  • See what Rotarians are doing in Disease Prevention and Treatment
  • Learn more about our efforts to End Polio.
  • Check out the Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (WASRAG).
  • Connect with our District’s International Service Chair and Foundation Chair to learn about projects that are happening in our district.