Don and I have very much enjoyed attending a number of our Rotary Foundation’s Birthday Celebrations throughout the District.  The passion, creativity and dedication of our Rotarians continues to delight as we attend just as many functions as our schedule will allow.
The theme for April in the Rotary Calendar is Maternal and Child Health.  This would seem a very easy theme.  Mothers everywhere basically want the same things for their children: That is good health, sufficient food, and education.  In some parts of our world this is relatively easy but in the developing world today many challenges exist.
Pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death and disability for women in developing countries (WHO).
Nearly 27,000 children under five die every day from largely preventable diseases and conditions.
In 2008, 8.8 million children born alive died before their fifth birthday (UNICEF).
Our Rotary Foundation has selected Maternal and Child Health as one of their six areas of focus.  Many Rotarians design projects that address specific parts of this issue.  When members of the Rotary Club of Bainbridge Island visited a hospital in a remote area of northern Uganda they noticed that the baby delivery tables were in poor condition. They put a plan in place to replace those tables with new, modern equipment.
When your club members go to a part of our developing world on whatever project you may be undertaking, take some time to visit a maternity health clinic.  You or your members may be very surprised to learn how basic their needs might be.  It might be relatively easy for your club to replace one or more pieces of equipment that would make that facility much safer for mothers and their newborn infants.
In many parts of the world, Midwife Vocational Training is available for about $1,000 US.  In remote areas, midwives provide vital prenatal care.  Mothers who receive care during pregnancy are more likely to have safe births and to seek medical care for their children.
We are looking forward to seeing many of you at our District Training and Conference early next month.
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