Julia Roberts Goad
WILLIAMSON — When Rotarian Vinnie Kudva worked as a volunteer in South Africa, he did more than teach math. Visiting rural health clinics, he saw a need for equipment.
“On weekends I worked in an HIV orphanage,” Kudva said. “During this time I also visited many rural health clinics. These clinics had very little equipment and no doctors or properly trained nurses.”
Kudva said he had expressed the hope Rotary could help the clinics to provide medical care to the people, especially children. He said that since he was in South Africa four years ago, a lot of progress has been made, but that basic equipment is still a need.
He said the Rotary Club of Letaba, South Africa contacted the club in Williamson, seeking help.
“I called the Chief Medical Officer at the Letaba District Health Department, Dr. Janet,” Kudva said. “We set some priorities.”
The project that came of the connection between the Letaba and Williamson Rotaries will bring 100 baby weighing scales to health clinics in South Africa. Letaba is a district in the north eastern part of South Africa called as Limpopo.
The goal of the project is to help the local healthcare providers in their fight to reduce infant mortality rate. The infant mortality rate in South Africa is 42.67 per 1,000 live births (the rate in the U.S. is 5.98).
The Letaba Rotary Club will procure the scales, which are manufactured in Europe, Kudva said, and sold through a local agency in South Africa.
The total cost of this project is about $7,530 excluding shipping and handling. Members of the Rotary Club of Williamson will provide about $6.500 and balance is provide by Rotary Club of Letaba.
The Letaba Club will execute the project, procuring and distributing the scales to 100 South African clinics.
There are about 32,000 Rotary Clubs around the world helping communities locally and internationally to improve healthcare, education, safe drinking water and polio eradication among other projects.