In Gear | Rotary in Southern New Zealand In Gear - Issue 3 - Page 68

months after the idea was settled upon. As well as drafting an initial Childbirth Education (CBE) training manual, the original Kiwi and Australian midwifery team held education sessions for maternal health workers at university training hospitals in Ulaanbaatar, in central Mongolia, Darkhan, in the north, and Sainshand, near the Chinese border. Together with providing the ground-breaking education, the team had another important mission: to identify the best candidate to visit and experience New Zealand’s maternal healthcare system. Mongolian midwife and healthcare manager Amarjargal Luvsandagva was selected, and after some English language tuition, spent a month in South Canterbury and North Otago last year as part of phase two of the project, mentored and hosted by Julie. With a revised and freshly-translated childbirth manual in hand – the standard of which was such that it’s since been adopted by the Ministry of Health as Mongolia’s standardised maternal and infant health training curriculum – Gary, Julie, Sam, Bev and Jo undertook the third phase last year. They spent three weeks travelling to the same training hospitals in Ulaanbaatar, Darkhan and Sainshand that had been visited on the previous trip. With backing from Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar club in Rotary District 3450, they trained more than 300 healthcare professionals, including doctors and other senior clinicians, who, in turn, went on to share their new-found knowledge and skills with their colleagues. When gauging the success to date of the project, which is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Waimate, Rotary International, Mongolia’s Ministry of Health, Mongolia State University and the First Maternity Hospital Ulaanbaatar, Gary says the statistics speak for themselves. Between 2013 and 2015 alone, infant mortality rates dropped 66 percent, while maternal deaths plummeted more than 70 percent, based on data supplied by the First Maternity Hospital in Ulaanbaatar. “Our Vocational Training Team is very passionate about the fact that childbirth education and emergency clinical skills training are fundamental in addressing the mortality and morbidity rates of mums and babies in Mongolia. “The midwives are committed to childbirth education as a universal right for all women and babies, and, combined with emergency clinical skills training for midwives, obstetricians, and other maternal health workers, it makes pregnancy, birthing and early parenting much safer for them.” FOUNDATION IN ACTION Through the generous bequests of Rotarians, coupled with prudent investing, the Rotary Foundation enables our 34,000 clubs worldwide to develop and carry out humanitarian projects, enriching millions of lives the world over. Further, it offers special scholarships and professional training to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, sustain mothers and children, improve education, and strengthen local economies. What’s more, over 90 percent of funds raised go directly to programmes and services, just part of why our Foundation has a top four-star rating from charity analysts Charity Navigator. As well as supporting major international campaigns, such as ending polio, it offers crucial grants to our homegrown causes here in Rotary District 9980. Supplementing our own fundraising efforts, the Foundation’s made possible numerous local initiatives. Vitally, it also helps our clubs serve on the international stage through its global grant programme. District 9980 is currently sponsoring an application to the Foundation for support toward an estimated $115,000 “adopt-a-village” project in Uganda. Clubs throughout the district are being asked to pitch in, funds which will be matched by the Foundation. Spearheading the application is the Rotary Club of Gore’s president-elect and district Grants Committee member, Candace Bangura, who brings a wealth of knowledge – she served in several positions at Rotary International’s Chicago headquarters between 1999 and 2014, including as Area of )ȸ)A%ȀIх䁥ͽѡɸ9܁iɥЀܹɽх呥ɥɜ