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How Rotary is ​improving the ​care of mothers ​and children

story by crez dickens

This month our series of articles about Rotary Action Groups will explore ​reproductive, maternal and child health.

Throughout the world and especially in developing countries, there is an ​increasing need to improve the care of mothers and children.

More than two-thirds of the whole population are women and children. There ​are high mortality rates, induced abortions, illness, miscarriages. All resulting ​from poor health care.

More than seven million newborn deaths are believed to be caused by maternal ​health problems. Malaria is more common in pregnant women. In sub-Saharan ​Africa, three million women have the AIDS virus which can be passed to the ​growing baby.

But Rotary and, in particular, the Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal and ​Child Health, are doing all they can to right this injustice.

For 25 years their projects have helped mothers deliver healthy babies in Africa, ​Asia and South America, provided1,500 fistula repairs and extended family ​planning services.

They have supported the strengthening of health systems for all, especially in ​Nigeria, and trained women in economic empowerment in India and ​Afghanistan.

a group of people in masks standing in front of a Rotary banner in Uganda

The Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health has helped mothers deliver hea​lthy bab​ies in Africa, Asia and South America (Image: RMCH Facebook Page)

The action group aims to continue contributing to global sustainable population growth and development, while helping the specific needs of communities.

The group is a focus and resource to Rotary clubs and districts, helping in the planning and implementation of international service projects in their area of expertise.

Organised autonomously, action groups provide field tested project ideas, along with support on project finance, technical issues and a network of useful contacts.

Examples of projects include an Indian global one looking at enlightenment through theatrical performances. Street theatre performances in villages explored family planning, health and gender issues. They are informative and performed by the MAHER group.

In the Philippines, a global grant aided project helped 60 women and girls from the slums around Manila to receive an auxiliary nurse training, with the best students going onto full registered nurse training.

A total of ten Rotary clubs from Germany, France and the Philippines worked together to create this piece of work.

For information on this Action Group, go to There you will find their history, mission statement, vision and aims.

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