Tuesday, 2 April 2019
April is Maternal and Child Health Month in our Rotary calendar. This is one of our area of focus. It is estimated that around 7 million children under the age of 5 die each year due to malnutrition, inadequate health care and poor sanitation. More than 80 percent of maternal deaths can be prevented by having access to reproductive health services and trained health care workers. In order to reduce the death toll, Rotarians are helping mothers and their children to gain better access to essential medical services. Our members help provide education, immunisations, birthing kits and mobile health clinics. Women are taught preventive measures on mother-to-infant HIV transmission, how to breast-feed, and how to safeguard themselves and their children from disease. Other efforts include health camps.
You can also read about the program on the training of nurses to save mothers and babies in East Africa. Home deliveries are common in Nigeria (around 70%). If the mother goes through prolonged labor she can suffer a fistula,” an injury that often results in a stillborn baby, causes chronic incontinence, and can lead to social isolation as well as infection, nerve damage, or death. The key to tackling this is prevention.
Robert Zinser, an economist and retired president for Asia at chemical giant BASF and a PDG co-founded what became the Rotarian Action Group for Population Growth and Sustainable Development and he serves as its CEO. The project took off with the Rotary Foundation giving a grant for $478,000, which is sponsored by Rotary District 9125 in Nigeria and the Rotary Club of Weissenburg, Germany. This soon attracted an additional US$826,000 from the German government and the Aventis Foundation. Our District is also doing it’s part in various and these include medical camps, health check-up, health talks, donation of essential food items to needy people, etc.
In another 3 months a new Rotary Year will begin. I urge all the incumbent Club Presidents to review their progress. For those projects which need to be completed by this Rotary Year, you will need to watch your timeline carefully. As for projects which extend beyond your term please work with your successor to ensure smooth transition. In your review, do pay attention to key areas such as Membership Growth, Service Projects, contribution to the Rotary Foundation, Youth Service and Media/Public Image. Remember to update My Rotary / Club Central regularly on membership details, donations to Rotary Foundation, completion of service projects, etc. You can also use social media such as Facebook to showcase your programs and activities to attract potential members and to improve public image.
By now the Presidents-Elect in our District have completed their final training on 21-22 April 2019 at Johor Bahru. I like to congratulate them and wish them a successful year ahead. Their training event was followed by the 29th District Assembly and I also like to thank the organisers and all of you who have supported the Assembly.
The next major district event is the 28th District Conference which will be held on 26-28 Mar 2019 at G-Hotel Gurney, Penang. I urge all the current Club Presidents to attend this event. Encourage your club members to be present too.
We have started to raise money to help top-up the fund for the Gift of Life Project which is undertaken by RC of Penang and the Adventist Hospital. This ongoing project is to help needy heart patients undergo heart transplant. During the District Conference on 28 April 2019, on behalf of District 3310, I will hand over the cheque representing the money collected. So please contribute generously.
Henry Tan Kok Hiang
District Governor RY2018-19