The Rotary Club of Nairobi hosted an eye care camp in November, marking 30 years of the club’s commitment to ending rural blindness. A local bus company provided free transportation to and from Hema Hospital in Kisii, near Lake Victoria, so people from across western Kenya could receive cataract screening and surgery at a cost of $52 per patient. The club also works with Baltimore-based Tissue Banks International to treat keratoconus, a structural disorder of the cornea and a leading cause of blindness among the young in East Africa, and has hosted eye camps in rural areas throughout Kenya. Medical professionals have performed more than 14,000 surgeries and 200 corneal transplants through the blindness eradication project.
Rotarians from across Ne Zealand assisted with the Stroke Foundation’s sixth annual blood pressure awareness campaign in October. Volunteers gathered at 182 supermarkets and health centers, as far as Kaikohe to the north and Invercargill to the south, where they encouraged shoppers to have their blood pressure taken by representatives from the health charity St. John and Wellington Free Ambulance. They also handed out information about hypertension and its connection to stroke and other medical issues, and collected health data. In a follow-up survey, 37% of participants reported taking action as a result of their blood pressure reading that day.
District 3220 (Maldives and Sri Lanka) kicked off its One Million Tree Stories campaign in December to combat deforestation in Sri Lanka. Working with 2,500 local farmers and the departments of forestry and irrigation, the Rotary Club of Ibbagamuwa is leading the initiative to plant one million trees along the banks of protected reservoirs in Kurunegala District this year, and four million more over ?ve years. The public can sponsor a tree for $1 and share a personal tree story on the project’s Facebook page.