About Rotary Family Health Days (RFHD)

The Rotary Family Health Days (RFHD) is a signature program of Rotarians For Family Health & Aids Prevention, Inc. This program was the vision of a Rotary District Governor in Uganda, Stephen Mwanje, in 2011 who wanted all Rotary clubs in his District working together on a common cause. He asked Marion Bunch, CEO of RFHA to help him by obtaining partners and resources to help his Rotary clubs implement it.

This was accomplished, and the first partner organization to provide support was The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. (The Coca-Cola Business Units and its bottling organizations also provide support.) In addition, the in-country governments all have to be a part of the partnership; and the Centers for Disease Control and USAID add significant value because of their NGO implementing partners in each country who provide services at all the sites.

The 2011 pilot was held in Uganda at 120 sites across the nation, and parts of Kenya at 40 sites. Rotarians were stunned when 38,000 people came to the one day event, and realized they had uncovered a real need of the underserved population. In 2012, Nigeria implemented the program at 77 sites in Lagos and Ogun States, and the program became a three day program. Overall, 160,000 people were served free health care in Uganda, Nigeria, and a part of Kenya.

In May 2013, the program was expanded to South Africa at 160 sites, in addition to Uganda and Nigeria. The program served a population of 275,089 people in 2013. This program was initially developed to address the critically important issue of HIV/AIDS in Africa, but the program always included other health care services.

  • HIV counseling and testing
  • Safe Male Circumcision, provision of condoms
  • TB testing
  • Malaria screens and provision of bed nets
  • Diabetes and blood pressure screening
  • Polio and measles vaccination
  • Deworming
  • Vitamin A tablets
Rotarians also facilitate other services at various sites such as dentistry, eye testing, cervical cancer smears, mammography screens and hygiene education.

2013 Achieved Proof of Concept: The 2013 year was when this program achieved ‘proof of concept,’ particularly by the efficient and effective rollout of this program in South Africa. RFHA received an unprecedented commitment from the South Africa Government’s Department of Health who provided the medical/technical services at each site. In addition, the SABC (South Africa Broadcasting Corporation) signed an MOU with RFHA to broadcast the Public Service Announcements across their various TV and radio platforms.

Rotary International’s Broadcast Media and Public Relations Group decided to produce a documentary on the program. It is the largest non-polio health program in all of Rotary, and it is a Public/Private Partnership that is working well. The documentary will be broadcast across Africa by the SABC in March 2014.

2014 Program Goals: The goal for 2014 will be to service 375,000 citizens as follows:
South Africa April 2 to 4 – at 160 sites
Ghana April 10 to 12 – at 30 sites
Uganda April 10 to 12 – at 120 sites
Nigeria April 24 to 26 – at 150 sites

The country of Swaziland will pilot the program, with the support of the South Africa Rotary clubs at seven sites.RFHA, with the support of the CDC and the S.A. Department of Health, put together a data collection tool that will be used at all the sites in all countries. In addition, Dr. Phil Silvers (Past Rotary International Director) created a template to do a 90 day impact study in all the countries this year.

About the Partnership

RFHD works by using an interdependent partnership model, as illustrated below:

 

 

RFHA: Initiates, manages and coordinates the project in each country. RFHA is the lynchpin partner that brings all other partner organizations together and obtains funding.

Rotary Clubs:hey Mobilize the community into action to attract the citizens to the event and provides volunteer services at the event. T select, build and manage all the sites in addition to volunteering at the three day event.

The Coca-Cola System (TCCAF and Coca-Cola Business Units, Bottlers): Funds the mobilization costs for all countries and provides support for the media plan.

National Government: Provides approval and direction, and funds the effort in the case of South Africa. Provides the roll out service at each site through their HCT and EPI campaign.

CDC/USAID: Directs the NGOs they fund to partner with Rotary Clubs in their area. CDC has been an ongoing consultant in 2012/13 to RFHA in the rollout in all three countries.

NGOs: Provide free medical/technical work at all sites.

Future Plans

It is the vision of RFHA, the Rotary leaders in these countries, and the partner organizations to expand the health event each year across Sub-Saharan Africa. The RFHA Board of Directors has elected to pilot the program in India in 2015.

RFHA wants to serve the underprivileged families with a particular focus on vulnerable children. By focusing on the child, who is the center of the family, it will support the families and serve the communities of Africa.

Measurement and Evaluation (M&E) is a crucial component of the program. In South Africa, the DoH will be providing an M&E template and will be working with a dedicated Rotarian at each site to collect the data. Final figures will be validated by the Department of Health and provided to Rotary and partners by the end of May.

The program’s success is dependent on getting accurate and consistent data in order for the program to improve and expand year on year. The customized M&E component developed in South Africa will be shared with the other countries involved in the Rotary Family Health Days.