December 2017
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The Mission of the Capital City Sunrise Rotary Club is to support community and international projects by caring for others and sharing fellowship with all.
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Welcome to the Capital City Sunrise Rotary Club of Concord, NH

Capital City Sunrise-Cncd

The Little Club that Does

We meet Thursdays at 7:15 AM
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25 Manchester Street
Concord, NH  03301
United States
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Pakistan health workers are replacing traditional paper-reporting with accurate and timely cellphone-based reporting. 
By Ryan Hyland Photo by Khaula Jamil

Mobile phones and simple text messaging may be the keys to victory in the world’s largest public health initiative: the eradication of polio.

As the disease retreats from the global stage, thriving in only a few remote areas in three countries, it’s up to health workers to deliver vaccines and share information with speed and accuracy.

Health workers in Pakistan are receiving cellphone and e-monitoring training at the Rotary Resource Center in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 
Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative are strengthening the lines of communication by giving cellphones to health workers in Pakistan and Nigeria, where a single text message could save a life.

In Pakistan, Rotary has been working to replace traditional paper-based reporting of maternal and child health information, including polio immunization data, with mobile phone and e-monitoring technology.

Community health workers across the nation have received more than 800 phones through a partnership with Rotary, the Pakistani government; Telenor, the country’s second-largest telecommunications provider; and Eycon, a data monitoring and evaluation specialist. Organizers plan to distribute a total of 5,000 cellphones by the end of 2018.

Health workers can use the phones to send data via text message to a central server. If they see a potential polio case, they can immediately alert officials at Pakistan’s National Emergency Operations Center. They also can note any children who didn’t receive the vaccine or parental refusals – and record successful immunizations. In Pakistan, the polio eradication effort aims to reach the nation’s 35 million children under age five.

The result is a collection of real-time information that officials can easily monitor and assess, says Michel Thieren, regional emergency director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergency Program.

Pakistan health workers are replacing traditional paper-reporting with accurate and timely cellphone-based reporting. 
“Cellphone technology signals tremendous progress in the polio eradication program,” says Thieren, who has directed polio-related initiatives for WHO in Pakistan. “The data we collect needs to have such a granular level of detail. With real-time information that can be recorded and transcribed immediately, you can increase accuracy and validity.

“This gives governments and polio eradication leaders an advantage in the decisions we need to make operationally and tactically to eliminate polio,” Thieren says.

Beyond polio

Health workers also are using mobile phones to monitor a multitude of maternal and child health factors.
Pakistan’s child mortality rate ranks among the highest in the world, according to UNICEF, with 81 deaths under age five per 1,000 live births.

But mobile technology can help reduce those deaths, says Asher Ali, project manager for Rotary’s Pakistan PolioPlus Committee.

“Our health workers, including community midwives, are tracking pregnant mothers,” Ali says. “When a child is born, they can input and maintain complete health records, not just for polio, but for other vaccines and basic health care and hygiene needs.”
They also can monitor infectious diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis, and influenza-like illnesses, as well as child malnutrition and maternal health concerns.

“If there is a problem with the baby or the mother, we can send information to the government health departments immediately, so they can solve the issue quickly and adjust their strategies,” Ali says.

Cellphones also facilitate follow-up visits with families, because health workers can send appointment reminders over text message.
Ako Odotei, chair of the Ghana Host Committee of the RI-USAID collaboration, greets Rotarians from the U.S. during the West African Project Fair in Accra.

By Theophilus Mensah

In early October, Rotary Foundation Chair Paul Netzel was on hand to open the West Africa Project Fair in Accra, Ghana, where Rotary and USAID are partnering to improve sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene in six regions of the country.

The project fair, as the name suggests, involves Rotary clubs across the West Africa sub-region, and is in its 12th year. It serves as an excellent forum for local clubs to show off their projects and establish partnerships with international clubs to secure the financial and technical support needed to implement projects in the region.

The Ghana Host Committee of the H2O Collaboration decided it would be good to have a booth at the fair, to showcase this unique public-private partnership, build awareness, and seek the support of new technical advisers and financial donors. As project manager of the committee, I assisted Ako Odotei, the committee chair, in setting up our booth and providing information. We were located near a staircase, which turned out to be a very strategic location.
We welcomed members from the Rotary clubs of Accra, Accra Legon, Accra Dansoman, Sunyani Central, Tema, and Accra RRC, many of whom expressed support for our efforts. Frank Owusu Debrah, past president of Sunyani Central, noted how important it is to help Rotarians gain a clearer understanding of the project. He believes it will dispel any negative perceptions and motivate more members to give toward meeting the $200,000 Rotary has agreed to raise in each country.

Rotarians in Nigeria and Niger were also excited about the water and sanitation improvements, and expressed interest in developing a similar WASH program in their home country.

All in all, I was very pleased with the results of the fair, which was well organized and well attended. We were able to provide valuable visibility to the collaboration.
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