HOUSE OF FRIENDSHIP
A hive of activity, renewing old friendships and making new ones
HOUSE OF FRIENDSHIP
Our booth in the House of Friendship was a focus of non-stop activities – meeting of old friends, making new friends and more importantly sharing stories and hopes. Our displays were informative and eye- catching.
When we planned the booth displays we set ourselves some broad aims:
- To raise the profile of the Fellowship. Although we have been in existence for many years, there are many Rotarians, who have never heard of us. It came as a surprise to many that we are a genuine multidisciplinary fellowship open to all disciplines in the health profession. In many countries, health care has become collaborative and multidisciplinary and we are delighted that we are able to welcome into our Fellowship all who are engaged in health care. Membership is also open to Rotary alumni, family members of Rotarians and Rotaractors. This offers us a huge opportunity to grow and become stronger, exert greater influence in the design and implementation of health projects.
To affirm our belief that successful, effective and sustainable health projects need strong management and good quality control. In developing countries there is great emphasis on good management – human resources, individual performance reviews, adherence to clinical guidelines and protocols, case reviews and above all strong financial management. Yet it is not uncommon to see – mostly in developing countries - many health projects poorly planned and managed. Some examples, I’ve personally seen are:
Equipment without backup - Funds used for expensive medical equipment without adequate electricity supply or skilled staff.
Misplaced priorities – A request from a hospital for support to ‘fully computerise the hospital and make it paperless’ but the hospital had no blood bank, radiology staff or pathology jus to mention a few challenges with direct impact on patient care.
Lack of protocols - Community-based blood pressure checking programmes using a mis-mash of non-standard equipment, procedures with high risk of false values and with no guidelines. Request for funds for a screening service for hearing without standardising the checks, equipment and agreeing on a pathway for those who are found to be test positive.
- Provide a forum for our members to share details of their service projects. Of the five ‘areas of focus’, two are directly related to health improvements. The Rotary Foundation spends a massive amount of money for Disease Prevention and Treatment and for reducing Maternal and Child mortality. In addition, Rotarians also invest massive efforts and money in delivering health care to those in need. We’ve no means of quantifying this. The Fellowship is keen to create a record of all health projects at club and district level. We invited some of our members to share their experience of being involved in heath care projects. The stories were inspiring and gave us a glimpse of Rotarians changing lives of so many.