Rotary’s focus on healthcare

As we revel in the joy of the holiday season, let us not forget the immense power we hold to make a profound impact on the world around us. December marks Disease Prevention and Treatment month at Rotary, a time when our collective efforts shine in promoting healthcare and combating diseases within our communities.

Friends, we are standing on the brink of a historic moment — from millions of reported polio cases annually, we are down to just six, yes, six reported cases! We are in the threshold of 2024, a new horizon awaits us, let’s make this a historic year with zero reported cases, total eradication of polio. Can we do it? Yes, I believe we can.

With polio as priority, Rotary’s commitment also addresses a myriad of health priorities. We provide critical care equipment to hospitals for enabling prompt and effective treatment for the community’s health needs. We ensure that no child succumbs to heart diseases by providing life-saving paediatric heart surgery. Our dedication to healthcare extends through initiatives like our support for blood banks and the establishment of numerous Rotary eye hospitals and multi-specialty healthcare facilities across India. Moreover, our endeavours include advocating Thalassaemia awareness, promoting organ donation, and recently we have also set up over 2,000 dialysis machines across India to cater to kidney patients.

At Rotary, we also advocate cervical and breast cancer awareness and immunisation. In 2022–23, Rotary’s impactful Programs of Scale initiative allocated a $2 million grant to combat cervical cancer in Egypt, aiming to vaccinate over 30,000 girls and offer screening to 10,000 women. The previous year, a similar grant was given to Zambia, focusing on reducing malaria cases.

Rotary India’s initiative, Project Positive Health, tackles India’s NCD (non-communicable disease) epidemic, aiming to curb 60 per cent of deaths by sensitising people on this issue. Let’s unite to address this pressing health challenge and create a healthier future for India.

I urge all clubs/districts to harness the strength of Disease Prevention and Treatment Rotary Action Group to access a wealth of expertise, resources and a vast global network, fostering the creation and execution of sustainable and impactful service projects.

Friends, let’s stand united in our commitment to transform health challenges and pave the way for a brighter, healthier future. Wishing you all a Happy New Year filled with abundance of joy and good health.

Anirudha Roychowdhury
RI Director, 2023–25

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