RFHA Receives Funding Support to Boost Polio Eradication Efforts

Editor's Note: This is particularly special to the Rotary District 6900 because of our own Marion Bunch, who started the Rotary Fellowship for Fighting AIDS (RFFA) that has become RFHA and led its efforts for many years to provide healthcare prevention and treatment services around the world. 

The Rotary Action Group for Family Health and AIDS Prevention (RFHA) is honored to announce the award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a two-year pilot program in the amount of $3 million. This will support the roll out of the Rotary Family Health Day Program in a number of countries and will include messaging, advocacy, education and surveillance on Polio as part of our integrated Disease Prevention program at Community level. The focus will be to integrate Polio specific activities and vaccination into the Rotary Family Health Days, and to support expanding the programs into countries where these have not been held previously. 

“The partnership between RFHA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was formed in full consultation with the Rotary International Polio team led by Mike McGovern and Dr Carol Pandak, and we would like to thank them for their support in endorsing RFHA and the RFHD program,” said Sue Paget, CEO of RFHA.

The priority countries are Nigeria, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi, with additional countries like Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Niger to roll out later in 2023. An initial event across Nigeria for World Polio Day on/around October 24th is being planned.  

Working in collaboration and consultation has always been the cornerstone of how RFHA works, and this new alliance is no different. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will work in collaboration with RFHA, Ministries of Health and GPEI partners in the identified countries to select districts where these Family Health Days can have an impact, in particular where there are polio outbreaks.

“It is because of this incredible opportunity that RFHA is now poised for the growth and development of this significant program of scale through Africa and beyond. Integrating Polio vaccinations and education with the services for preventive healthcare that RFHA already provides at our Rotary Family Health Days, means that this partnership will go a long way toward our united mission to improve the health of all,” added Sue. 

Posted by Marion Bunch
November 6, 2022


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