Rotary minute: Help in Africa

Published 12:11 pm Friday, June 24, 2016

In 2010-11, Stephen Mwanje was governor of Rotary District 9200, which then included Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. As he was researching options to address Uganda’s lack of health care, he crossed paths with Marion Bunch, an American Rotarian who had founded Rotarians for Family Health & AIDS Prevention in 2004. Their collaboration resulted in the country’s first free health clinic, organized by Mwanje in 2011.

Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa now hold Rotary Family Health Days once or twice a year. Local partners finance up to 80 percent of the budget for the health days, making the program sustainable. The clinics last two or three days and are staffed by volunteer health professionals who provide a wide range of services and treatments to anyone who shows up. More than a million people have been treated with the help of thousands of Rotary volunteers. Because of Mwanje’s commitment to health care in Uganda, the country also has its first oncology clinic, which was funded by a Rotary grant. Another Rotarian making a difference.