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Rotary International and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have organised the second part of Rotary Family Health Days (RFHA).

Nigeria, Others to Get $30m to Fight Childhood Diseases

Despite significant progress in recent years, malaria, pneumonia (lower respiratory infections), and diarrheal diseases remain among the leading causes of illness and death for children under five in sub-Saharan Africa.

In response, Rotary, in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Gates Foundation) and World Vision, is launching its ‘Rotary Healthy Communities Challenge’ to strengthen community health systems to deliver lasting disease prevention and treatment.

Over the next three years, the Rotary Foundation, World Vision, and the Gates Foundation will collectively contribute US$30 million to fund large-scale, high-impact programming, with local leadership and organizations to improve health outcomes for children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mozambique, Nigeria, and Zambia. Rotary members will work with these organizations to strengthen community health systems and increase the capacity of community health workers in order to ensure that programs are sustainable.

“Rotary is committed to strengthening health systems and combating diseases by empowering communities to use locally driven solutions that work,” said Rotary International President Gordon McInally. “Together, with the Gates Foundation and World Vision, we will invest in proven methods to help communities provide a healthier and more hopeful future in which everyone will have the opportunity to thrive.”

The selection of the four participating countries was based on disease burden, Rotary member engagement, partnership potential, and alignment with Ministry of Health strategies. Rotary members in each of the participating countries have worked with local partners and ministries of health to develop a program and implementation plan using an evidence-based community health worker model adapted to address each country’s health priorities.

“Investing in community health workers is one of the best things we can do to bolster the fight against malaria and other preventable diseases,” said Philip Welkhoff, Director of Malaria at the Gates Foundation. “We are proud to build on our partnership with Rotary and World Vision and are confident this new initiative will help ensure that children in these four countries have the opportunity to grow up healthy and reach their full potential.”