Rotary December Monthly Theme: Disease Prevention & Treatment
Rotary supports activities and training that reduce the cause and effect of disease including:
1. Improving the capacity of local health care professionals;
2. Promoting disease prevention programs, with the goal of limiting the spread of communicable
diseases and reducing the incidences of and complications from non-communicable diseases;
3. Enhancing the health infrastructure of local communities;
4. Educating and mobilizing communities to help prevent the spread of major diseases;
5. Preventing physical disability resulting from disease or injury;
6. Supporting studies for career-minded professionals related to disease prevention and treatment.
The largest Rotary International project focused on this theme is PolioPlus, the decades long running project to systematically eradication the poliomyelitis virus from the world which has reduced endemic polio to only 3 remaining countries.
Poliomyelitis is a highly infectious disease that most commonly affects children under the age of 5. Most know it as the poliovirus which is spread from person to person, typically through contaminated water. It can attack the nervous system, and in some instances, lead to paralysis. Although there is no cure, there is a safe and effective vaccine – one which Rotary and our partners use to immunize over 2.5 billion children worldwide.
Polio Plus is a Rotary Foundation project aimed at vaccinating vulnerable children globally, to immunize them from contracting the Poliomylitis virus. The Rotary effort to eradicate the Poliovirus started in 1979 with a project to immunize 6 million children in the Phillipines, the project rook on global proportions and became known as PolioPlus when in 1985 a target of Million was set to raise funds for this eradication effort. Progress has been significant and since 1988 the project has successfully reduced the global incidence of Poliovirus cases by 99.9%.
By 2009 Rotary’s overall contribution to this Poliovirus eradication effort nears the million mark In January, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged million to PolioPlus and issued Rotary a challenge grant of million i.e. Rotary needed to raise the million to receive the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation monies and secure a combined million in support of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Rotary achieved their million fundraising target in 2012, some 5 months ahead of the target date.
In 2017, there are only 3 countries from which the Poliovirus is yet to be eliminated. The Rotary Club of Knights Pendragon supports the PolioPlus with annual contributions towards the costs of this significant immunization project. Knights Pendragon seeks community minded donors to assist us in contributing this global effort.
From 3rd to 5th October, the Rotary Clubs of Knights Pendragon teamed up with the Department of Health at Klopper Park Clinic to reach out to underprivileged communities in the greater Germiston area by facilitating their access to free health services.
The aim of the Rotary Family Health Day project is to facilitate the provision of health-care services to under-served families, during which interventions healthy living and disease prevention is promoted. A primary focus of the project is on addressing Africa’s most pressing health challenges, including the immunizing of children against polio, measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
Also promoted during the health days is the regular washing of hands with soap as a preventative measure against disease.
During the 3 day project, Rotarians assisted the Department of Health by promoting the free health services, directing and coordinating the many people who arrive or are transported to the venue. Some 350 patients took advantage of the primary health care facilities provided by the project.