Rotary International’s dedication to humanitarian service encompasses a wide range of impactful initiatives. Each month, Rotary highlights a specific theme to raise awareness and promote action on pressing global issues. In July, Rotary celebrates Maternal and Child Health Month, a time to focus on improving the well-being of mothers and children around the world. This vital theme underscores the importance of providing accessible healthcare, education, and support to safeguard the health and future of the most vulnerable members of our society.
Why Maternal and Child Health Matters
Maternal and child health is not only a matter of human rights but also a key indicator of a society’s overall well-being. Sadly, countless women and children face significant health challenges, especially in low-income regions. Addressing these issues directly contributes to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being for All.
- According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 810 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
- Every year, around 5.2 million children under the age of five die globally, with the majority of these deaths occurring in low-income countries due to preventable causes.
- Access to quality healthcare, immunizations, proper nutrition, and education are critical for improving maternal and child health outcomes.
Who is Involved
- The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF): UNICEF plays a crucial role in advancing maternal and child health by providing essential services, supplies, and support to communities worldwide.
- The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI): Rotary International, in partnership with organizations such as WHO, UNICEF, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has made significant progress in eradicating polio, a disease that primarily affects children. This initiative demonstrates Rotary’s commitment to improving child health globally.
- The Maternal and Child Health Program by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: The foundation focuses on addressing maternal and child health challenges through innovative approaches, research, and funding of effective interventions. Their work aims to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates and improve the overall health and well-being of mothers and children.
Maternal and Child Health Month serves as a reminder that investing in the health and well-being of mothers and children is essential for a brighter and more equitable future. By raising awareness, supporting initiatives, and collaborating with organizations, Rotary International and its partners are striving to ensure that every mother and child receives the care and support they need to thrive.
Let us join hands and work together to make a lasting impact on maternal and child health worldwide.