Through one of its signature programmes, Rotary Family Health Days, the Rotary fraternity in Uganda has partnered with Ministry of Health, Centenary Bank and City Hope International to avail free medical care to local communities.
The ninth edition of the Rotary Family Health Days, organized by the Rotary Club of Kololo in partnership with the Rotary clubs of Mukono and Lugazi Central, is scheduled to be launched on 22 April 2017 at Busabagga Health Centre III, Buikwe District. A week later, the other Rotary clubs countrywide will set up similar medical camps to avail free health care at various health centers.
This year’s theme for the Rotary Family Health Days (RFHDs) is “Good Health, Happy Families”. “I am grateful to all our partners for the support we have received over the years. The communities we serve turn up in large numbers at all medical camps. We are optimistic that more partners will join us to scale up the initiative,’’ says Past District Governor Stephen Mwanje.
Communities are encouraged to visit any medical camp nearest to them on these days to get both specialised and general services in the areas of cancer screening (cervical, breast, and prostate); Child immunization and nutrition; Family planning and maternal health; HIV/AIDs counseling and testing; Dental services (mainly examination and extraction); Optical services; Malaria testing and treatment; Safe male circumcision; Health education and Blood donation.
The medical services will be conducted by a team of medical professionals from the health centres that have received additional training to enhance their skills in managing both basic and complicated ailments. The training was conducted by a highly skilled Vocational Training Team comprised of medical personnel from the US and India.
Speaking at the launch, the General Manager Finance at Centenary bank, Godfrey Byekwaso said, “We chose to support activities related to cancer in the Rotary Family Health Days as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility dubbed ‘Bridging the Cancer gap’. We know that Cancer is a silent killer yet whose early detection can protect life. Through various activities, we have made millions of people aware of this scourge and knowledgeable on how to prevent it, and this has seen some women get the desired treatment early.”
Cervical cancer is one of the leading killer diseases in Uganda with about 3,915 new cases registered every year, according to the 2015 Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Related Diseases Report.
“This year we have set aside UGX 230 Million for ‘Bridging the Cancer gap’ activities of which UGX 30 Million will go towards the purchase of cancer screening kits to be used during Rotary family health days,” added Byekwaso. To boost the RFHDs, Rotary Uganda received a global grant from Rotary International worth $113,000 (UGX408 Million) to cater for this nationwide activity and conduct a special programme of ‘Empowering women in rural Uganda.’
The women will be skilled in how to become economically independent, advocate for fair treatment at the workplace/community and how to deal with abuse at home among others. They will be selected from different parts of the country and will undertake this training from 22 to 27 April 2017 at Banana Village- Entebbe, with trainers from Uganda, India, Ghana, and the USA.
The RFHD programme is implemented in six countries; Uganda, South Africa, India, Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania. Since inception in 2011, the programme has reached out to an approximated 2 million people worldwide and over 500,000 in Uganda.
To cater for the demand in health services, two RFHDs are held annually; one in April and the other in October. The most recent event of October 2016 RFHD was able to serve a combined population of more than 75,000 people in Uganda. This time, the initiative targets 100,000 beneficiaries.