Rotary Focus Area 02 : Disease Prevention and Treatment

“The question is not how to get cured, but how to live.” 

– Joseph Conrad 

For centuries past, diseases of varying levels have ravaged the planet, and more often than not, the accessibility to proper and immediate treatment has been nigh impossible. Bearing this in mind, Rotary International has created its Second Focus Area as Disease Prevention & Treatment. The objectives of the second focus area are educating people on how diseases spread and the possible methods to avoid infection, assisting in the reduction of infection rates, and aiding in the immunization process against infectious diseases. 

The present state of Disease Prevention & Treatment 

At present, nearly 1.8 billion people from around the world suffer from diseases such as dengue and leprosy, and the task of granting timely cures to such patients has been a tedious task. Another pressing concern is the rising medical costs that have pushed around 100 million people into poverty. With persisting issues such as these, the requirement for immediate medical care has never been more urgent. Moreover, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare personnel are needed in numbers worldwide, approximately 2.4 million personnel to be exact. 

Steps taken by Rotary in combating diseases 

As a global organization, Rotary has been at the frontier of aiding in the prevention and treatment of diseases both communicable & non-communicable. Organizing and 

setting up temporary clinics, blood donation centers, and training facilities in underserved communities struggling with outbreaks and health care access. Designing and building infrastructure that allows doctors, patients, and governments to function and work is another one of Rotary’s endeavors. 

Rotary takes a sincere interest in combating polio, malaria, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and polio. As the prevention of diseases is also crucial in building up a healthy society, Rotary also focuses on health education and bringing people routine tests for hearing, vision, and dental care. 

As a result of Rotary’s constant contribution to the field of health and medicine, the movement has almost hundreds of projects underway around the globe, actively working to prevent and treat various diseases.

Rotary’s active contributions towards disease Prevention & Cure globally

Rotary has joined hands on numerous occasions to; 

  1. Provide clean drinking water to nearly 80% of Ghana’s population while successfully aiding in the fight against Guinea worm disease
  1. Putting an end to Polio by bringing the disease to the brink of eradication globally. This has helped eradicate polio in nearly 122 countries while also paving the way for tackling other diseases such as Dengue and Ebola. 
  1. Rotary has donated a sum of 65 million dollars in grants to fight diseases around the world, thus successfully enabling a plethora of beneficial projects. 
  1. Reducing HIV infection rates in countries such as Liberia by testing women in their early stages of pregnancy. The use of prenatal care to reduce HIV infections in children by 95% over two years has been highly effective. 
  1. Conducting awareness campaigns on the prevention and treatment of the Covid-19 virus on a global scale while also aiding in vaccination drives. 

Initiatives conducted under communicable and non-communicable diseases 

Rotary encourages Rotaract and Interact clubs alike to conduct projects that aid in strengthening healthcare systems in various countries around the globe. Thus, to prevent and control these diseases effectively while also conducting beneficial projects, they have been categorized under communicable and non-communicable diseases.  

The initiatives that can be carried out under communicable diseases are;  

  1. Testing for communicable diseases via initiatives such as health fairs medical camps with access to counseling and immediate treatment. 
  1. Conducting educational projects to enlighten members of local communities on the possible course of action to prevent disease transmission between individuals. 
  1. Providing necessary medical equipment to hospitals and other health care centers in remote areas that lack access to basic health care.  
  1. Endowing individuals with sufficient training to track and monitor the diagnosis and treatment of diseases through patient monitoring devices. 
  1. Conducting projects related to the effective disposal of medical waste to prevent the transmission of future diseases.  

The initiatives that can be carried out under non-communicable diseases are; 

  1. Putting forward services to prevent and treat physical and mental illnesses. 
  1. Conducting screening processes in local communities to diagnose and cure chronic diseases. 
  1. Supplying medical equipment to health care facilities after surveying whether the equipment would have sufficient electricity, water, and other criteria.  
  1. Organizing projects with the intent of vehicle-related injuries such as road accidents and collisions, given that these projects can minimize such accidents in the future. 
  1. Supplying vehicles such as ambulances to hospitals requiring them. The condition of the vehicles will have to be either new or in good condition. 

As a result, organizing such projects and initiatives that aid in strengthening and building local healthcare systems, while also preventing the spread of certain diseases are a tedious task, therefore they should be given the utmost consideration by Rotarians, Rotaractors & Interactors when carrying them out.  

References: 

  1. https://www.sfchinatownrotary.org/6-areas-of-focus 
  1. https://clubrunner.blob.core.windows.net/00000050079/en-us/files/sitepage/district-grants/areas-of-focus-guide/AreasofFocusGuide.pdf 
  1. https://www.ashlandrotary.net/stories/rotary-s-6-areas-of-focus 
  1. https://www.rotary.org/en/our-causes 
  1. https://www.rotaryeclub6600.org/6-areas-of-focus/ 

Penned by Rtr. Aakil Riyaz in collaboration with the District Editorial Team

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