Rotary International District 1180
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IMPACT – Taking Action Today to Prevent Disability Tomorrow
Our aim is simple – that no one should become needlessly disabled by disease, lack of knowledge or shortage of medical services.
IMPACT is an international programme to prevent and alleviate needless disability. All of our projects are run by local people in touch with real need - they also contribute resources. This ensures that our work is cost-effective and appropriate.
We have already restored sight, mobility and hearing, or repaired cleft lips for over 630,000 people and prevented a lifetime of disability for many thousands more.
The Opportunity for Action
The World Health Organisation estimates that 7-10% of the world's people are disabled. 80% of them live in developing countries and one third are children.
We are convinced that, with the effective delivery of modern technology and knowledge, at least half this disability is preventable and much is reversible or curable at low cost.
Did you know?
Four preventable diseases account for half of all deafness and hearing impairment.
- Iodine deficiency disorders are the largest cause of preventable brain damage and lack of vitamin A blinds thousands of children each year.
- Every minute more than 30 women are disabled during childbirth
Rotary’s Impact – Taking the Hospital to the People
We are delighted that Peter L. Offer, President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (2006/07), has selected IMPACT to be his preferred international charity during his tenure.
IMPACT was founded by Rotarian Sir John Wilson CBE DL in the early 1980s and has had close links with Rotary ever since. Many of the volunteer surgeons who work in our projects are Rotarians and the support of numerous clubs has helped to fund our programme.
Clubs and Districts all over the country can help us take the hospital to the people in innovative ways:
- The Lifeline Express Hospital Train – travels the famous Indian rail network restoring sight and mobility and repairing disabling cleft lip. This ‘Magic Train’ is now so famous that it features in school text books as far afield as Australia!
- The Jibon Tari Floating Hospital – the ‘Boat of Life’, as it is known locally, traverses Bangladesh’s vast waterways which cover much of the country, dispensing surgical and medical treatment to impoverished people living in remote riverside communities.
- A sterile tented operating theatre is taken across difficult terrain in Nepal to hold ENT and orthopaedic surgical ‘camps’ in hard to reach areas with few health facilities.
- In many countries of Africa and Asia, teams of doctors and surgeons travel into the countryside to hold treatment camps. Mobile clinics take healthcare into the heart of communities and provide education to help people protect themselves.
- As Rotarians will know so well from the PolioPlus campaign, prevention is better – and more cost-effective – than cure so IMPACT also takes steps to protect people from needless disablement.
- Immunisation is one such tool. Others include growing and eating fruit and vegetables to ward off disability caused by lack of vital vitamins and minerals, training health workers to provide appropriate healthcare and screening for the early signs and ensuring people affected get timely treatment.