Friday, 30 November 2018
December is Disease Prevention and Treatment Month. Good health is very important to all of us because poor health and disease can lead to pain, suffering and impoverishment. In the recent past one of the most dreaded disease is polio. Rotary has responded to this. Thanks to the contribution and work of Rotarians as well as our supporters around the world, the number of polio cases in the world has decreased by 99.9%. This campaign not only has eliminated polio in 122 countries but also created a system which is used for tackling other urgent threats to health such as Ebola.
It is true that Rotary’s number one priority is the eradication of polio. However, our members have also assumed the heavy responsibilities of fighting other diseases such HIV/AIDS, malaria, dengue, cancer etc. For e.g. in Liberia, Rotary members are helping women to undergo test for HIV early in their pregnancies. They used prenatal care to bring down the number of new HIV infections in children by 95 percent over a two-year period. Rotarians are using telemedicine which is the use of information technology to provide health care from a distance. It helps to bring doctors to patients virtually which is very useful in areas where modern transportation is a challenge.
I am happy to note that in District 3310 we are also active in fighting and preventing disease. Our Rotarians have taken part in anti-dengue campaign, launched immunisation against disease such as hepatitis B, conducted health seminars and medical camps, carried out cataract operations, have organised conferences on avoidable blindness, took part in blood donation drive, run and manage dialysis centres, etc.
In short, Rotary fights disease by improving the capacity of local healthcare professionals, by encouraging disease prevention programs, so as to minimize the spread of communicable diseases and to reduce the occurrence of non-communicable diseases. It also improves the health infrastructure of local communities, educate and mobilize communities to prevent the spread of major diseases, undertake programs to prevent physical disability resulting from disease or injury and render support to studies in disease prevention and treatment for career-minded professionals and even designs and builds the infrastructure for doctors, nurses, governments, and partners so that they are able to reach the one in six people in the world who cannot afford health care. I encourage all of you to continue in your efforts to prevent and treat diseases.
It is also important to note that December marks the last month of the calendar year 2018. Traditionally, December is a month associated with year-end festivities. I do hope that all clubs have an enjoyable time with warm fellowship among your members and spouses. In the midst of celebration, I urge all the Club Presidents and members to also take stock of what they have done in the first 6 months of Rotary Year 2018-19. Please use Rotary IT platform (My Rotary / Club Central) regularly to assess your progress. Look at the areas that need to be addressed. Through careful planning you should be able to get your Presidential Citation which is one way Rotary International can recognise your efforts. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your Assistant Governor. There is still time to catch up. I encourage all of you to aim for the Citation and be an inspiration to others.
Warmest season greeting to all of you and best wishes for 2019!
Henry Tan Kok Hiang
District 3310 District Governor