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Fight against childhood killer diseases boosted in four African countries

 Rotary International President Gordon McInally. [Courtesy]

The fight against leading childhood killer diseases including malaria, pneumonia and diarrhoea, has been boosted by the collaboration between Rotary International, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and World Vision.

The three organisations, which launched the initiative in Singapore, will collectively contribute 300 million U.S. Dollars to strengthen community health systems and deliver lasting disease prevention and treatment in Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Zambia.

“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, adding, “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 can thrive.”

He further said that Rotary members will work with these organisations to strengthen community health systems and increase the capacity of community health workers to ensure that programs are sustainable.

“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, the Director of Malaria at the Gates Foundation.

He added, “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 their full potential.

In countries such as Zambia, community health workers were supported to reduce the incidence of malaria in ten target districts within two highly affected provinces, with support from Rotary International, therefore, this success led to the Rotary Healthy Communities Challenge.

“It is an honour to collaborate with the Rotary Foundation and the Gates Foundation to tackle these top killers of children,” said Edgar Sandoval Sr., World Vision President and CEO. “When partners join, we can have a greater impact on helping the most vulnerable reach their full God-given potential.”

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