Season’s Greetings: December Is Disease Prevention and Treatment Month
Did you know that over 800 million people (almost 12 percent of the world’s population) spent at least 10 percent of their household budgets to pay for health care? Also, more than 100 million people are pushed into poverty each year because of medical costs. As Rotarians, we aim to improve and expand access to low-cost and free health care, especially in underdeveloped areas.
We educate and mobilize communities to help prevent the spread of major diseases such as polio, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and now COVID-19. Many projects ensure that medical training facilities are located where the workforce lives.
The Price of A Pandemic: COVID-19
My friends, we are seeing the evolution of a disease that has cost many people their lives and will soon see an additional 100 million people added to the poverty list because of it. This is a tragic projection, and Rotarians are called to not only serve but lead the way! Globally, the cost of this pandemic will be between $8.1 and $15.8 trillion. This is roughly 500 times as costly as what it would take to invest in proposed preventative measures.
What Can Rotarians Do?
  1. Continue to Serve…but Safely!  
    It’s the only way we can continue to serve those who need us the most. This is a team effort, and there’s no “I” in team. If one person doesn’t wear a mask (properly) or keeps the proper distance, they risk exposing the virus to others. Some communities within our district may be “safe” by the numbers, but this doesn’t mean COVID-19 free. All it takes is one person.
  2. Spread Awareness!
    There may be many narratives around what causes the COVID-19 and what doesn’t. There’s only one consistent thing, it’s causing the loss of lives, jobs, and economic fallout globally (just to name a few). Help your local communities (neighbors, family, and friends) by spreading awareness, creative campaigns, and the importance/effectiveness of vaccines.
  3. Donate To TRF
    Now, more than ever, your contributions to The Rotary Foundation are needed. The results of our contributions to TRF will not be seen during the 2020-2021 Rotary year, but three years from now. COVID-19 has impacted many communities in many ways. Our support of those communities (preventing disease, providing clean water, supporting education, growing local economies, saving mothers & children, and promoting peace) usually comes through district and global grants. What we give now will allow us to serve great in the near future.
Disease prevention and treatment takes on many forms, from supporting studies to helping immunize people to improving drinking water and the sanitation infrastructure. The world relies on Rotary to tackle these global challenges, and to set an example for others to follow.
As I look around the district, I want to applaud those clubs and members that have stepped up BIG time to offer help in their local communities, follow the proper safety precautions, and adapt to see another day in our beautiful world. That’s the power of Rotary! Our Rotary family is not only strong in numbers but strong at heart. Happy holidays from my family to yours!
Join Us for our next District 5840 Town Hall Event: Disease Prevention and Treatment
December 17, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.
Guest Panel: Dr. Jim Partin & Dr. Linda Ellsworth