Our program featured the introduction of a proposed Rotary Global Grant project. Gordon Bigelow detailed the backstory of the project which involves improving maternal and child health care in Ngaremara, Isiolo County, Kenya. Statistics show that 5.9 million children under the age of 5 die each year due to malnutrition, inadequate health care, and lack of sanitation. This sub-Saharan region has the highest neonatal mortality rate in the world.
The project location was chosen thanks to formerly local Rotarian Wendy Ellsworth who has forged personal bonds in this area over the last 20 years. Morning Star Rotarian Donna Holton shared a presentation from the Isiolo Rotary Club that detailed the needs in Isiolo County. The area is served by one public health dispensary which is the primary care center for 22,000 people. The facility is understaffed and ill-equipped. The great distances and poor roads have resulted in 50% of pregnant and lactating mothers to seek the services of traditional birth attendants. These TBAs do not have the training to handle complications. The facility lacks reliable water and electricity sources.
The first phase of the proposed Global Grant will seek to begin alleviating some of their problems. Planned improvements include a safe reliable water supply, sanitation, solar energy, training for health workers, diagnostic equipment, and transportation. The overall cost of the grant is $85,000, of which $45,000 would come from our District and the rest matched from the World Fund of Rotary International. The plan is to use available District 7430 grant money to fund the project and then replace the money with donations from Clubs and individuals within D7430. The Global Grant proposal will be submitted on July 1, 2022 for official approval. Gordon and his sister Deborah plan to be a part of this project. This may be a great opportunity for the Rotary Club of Easton to be involved in an international project.