Global grant project educates, supports new mothers with HIV
Vocational training team member Rich Casey (far left), of the Rotary Club of Los Altos, California, USA, greets doctors at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, site of the HIV-prevention training workshop. Photo courtesy of the Rotary Club of Los Altos
Fifty doctors, nurses, and home-based health care workers in Liberia are using techniques gained from a Rotarian-sponsored workshop to help prevent transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their children. The techniques are being used to educate pregnant women about HIV and AIDS, treat mothers and their newborn babies with medication, and inform the public about HIV prevention.
With funding from a Rotary Foundation global grant, a vocational training team of two Rotarians and six other health care professionals from District 5170 (California, USA) conducted the weeklong workshop in Monrovia, which ended on 3 February. Workshop participants received resource books, information on diagnosing and treating HIV, and other materials as well.
Members of the local Rotary Club of Sinkor, Montserrado County, are now helping distribute nutritional supplements to malnourished HIV-infected women and children and are providing transportation for them to public health clinics.
“The general feedback was that the workshop was a complete success, and the participants agreed to take this information and resource materials back to their various places of work and train others,” says team member Allan Varni of the Los Altos club.
At work on many fronts
The HIV-prevention workshop is one of several global grant-funded projects and activities that District 5170 has undertaken as a Future Vision pilot district. Rotarians are providing medical equipment to two hospitals in Guatemala and one in the Philippines, installing a toilet block at an elementary school in Belize, and implementing an “adopt-a-village” project in Uganda, among other efforts.
District Rotarians say the global grants are making it possible to effectively address a number of Foundation areas of focus in line with the district’s goals.
“The Future Vision procedures have made the process of grant funding more efficient and timely,” says Roger Hassler, past governor of District 5170. “Rotarians in our district are using the resources of The Rotary Foundation to plan and implement meaningful humanitarian and educational projects around the world.”
The district’s involvement in global grant projects is producing other benefits as well.
“As we have worked through the steps needed to qualify our clubs and district, smaller clubs have begun to embrace the process and actively seek ways to work with other clubs, both within and outside our district, to create larger, more sustainable projects,” says Cecelia Babkirk, chair of the district’s grants subcommittee. “I challenge Rotarians to think big about the Future Vision Plan.”
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