This year seems to have flown by so fast! Time flies when you’re having fun (with Rotaract :) ) and before you know it the end of the year is upon us. December is not only a month of holiday celebrations around the world, but it is also Disease Prevention and Treatment month in the Rotary calendar. While it might seem odd to put these two topics in the same sentence they do have a commonality in that the end of year holidays bring about a mindset of hope and looking towards a better future, which can be applied to fuel our motivation in the fight against disease
Disease prevention and treatment is one of the world’s most critical and widespread humanitarian needs and we as the Rotaract club of Toronto are constantly working to play our part in addressing this need. We do this by supporting and fundraising for organisations that educate people on how to prevent diseases and help people get access to treatments that they may otherwise not have access to. Some examples of events we have partaken in are the Rotary AIDS poker walk in which we walked to raise funds for international and local initiatives which help fight HIV/AIDS through education, prevention, treatment, support for orphans, surviving guardians and people living with AIDS..
We also organised a blood donation drive in September at a time which the Canadian Blood services had critically low volumes, which goes to show there are many different ways you can contribute to this Rotary area of focus!
Education is also a big factor in conquering disease as with knowledge comes prevention. Certain diseases such as Polio have no treatment, but are preventable through vaccines and raising awareness. To date through the efforts of Rotary and partner organisations the world is now more than 99.9% Polio-free. We’ve gone from 1,000 new cases each day to less than one per week! This year on World Polio Day we had the privilege of having Eddie Rice, a huge advocate for improving accessibility in Canada, and Erica Mugan who works for March of Dimes Canada, speak to us and educate us more on Polio and its impact. We also had a social media campaign to raise awareness about Polio.
As we work together towards providing everyone with the basic human right of health here’s what YOU can do to help:
• Support health education programs that explain how diseases are spread and promote ways to reduce the risk of transmission.
• Carry out immunizations against infectious diseases.
• Sponsor continuing education and training for health workers, including supporting scholarships, stipends, and public recognition.
With heartfelt gratitude for all your contributions towards improving communities near and far, happy holidays and best wishes for a healthy, happy, and successful new year.