HEWRAG-Areas of Emphasis
Cervical Cancer Prevention
After our introduction to the Cervical Cancer Prevention Initiative in November 2015,
HEWRAG set about to raise awareness among Rotarians around the world about the
issues related to and the opportunities to help their communities address Cervical
Cancer Prevention. During 2016, our effort was directed in large part to developing
our familiarity with the disease and its prevention strategies. Additionally, we began
a series of presentations to Rotarians in local communities and at international Rotary
Conferences. By the end of 2016, we had developed confidence in our understanding
of our capabilities and believed that we could best serve Rotarians as they addressed
cervical cancer prevention in their own communities.
In 2017 we expanded our reach and raised awareness through presentations made to Rotarians at the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta, GA, USA, and at regional Rotary meetings in Nigeria, the United States, and Zambia. In addition, we have made numerous presentations to Rotary clubs in Africa, USA, and the UK.
Thousands of Rotarians from around world learned of our support for Cervical Cancer Prevention efforts and of the special relationship we have developed with the American Cancer Society and others in the fight against cervical cancer.
In February 2018 we published The HEWRAG Guide To Cervical Cancer Prevention
You can read articles that we have published by clicking on "Publications".
Oral Health & Nutrition
Oral health is essential to maintaining general health and well-being.
Oral disease affects 3.9 billion people worldwide, with untreated tooth decay impacting almost half of the world’s population (44%), making it the most prevalent of all the 291 conditions included in the Global Burden of Disease Study. Globally, between 60–90% of schoolchildren and nearly 100% adults have tooth decay, often leading to pain and discomfort.
Oral disease is associated with significant pain and anxiety, as well as disfigurement, acute and chronic infections, eating and sleep disruption, and can result in an impaired quality of life. In developing countries, this is exacerbated due to the lack of pain control and treatment not being readily available. Oral disease can impact every aspect of life – from relationships and self-confidence through to school, work, the ability to interact with others. It can also result in social isolation and reduced income.
The message is that good nutrition and oral hygiene can prevent tooth decay, mouth pain, and malnutrition. The goal is healthier children free from preventable pain, ready to grow, motivated to learn, and eager to play in a world of peace.
We need to employ creative strategies ,affordable techniques and tools, innovative fund raising methods and practical interactive activities that can be used in communities throughout the world.
Health Fairs & Medical Missions
Noncommunicable diseases are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide, responsible for 70% of global mortality every year. This figure is projected to reach 74% by 2030, creating a heavy and growing toll on the health and economic security of all countries. Increasingly, it is low- and middle-income countries and the poorest and most disadvantaged populations which are hardest hit by these largely preventable diseases.
The World Health Fairs Rotarian Action Group (WHFRAG) was formed in 2006 by Rotarians working to improve world health an expanded emphasis on health education including lifestyle choices and disease prevention this led to a corresponding change of our name in 2015 from the World Health Fairs Rotarian Action Group to the Health Education and Wellness Rotarian Action Group, HEWRAG.
Health Fairs have been conducted and are targeted at many different audiences, but the most popular is youth. Some disease specific health fairs have been held, such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes or hypertension.
Mobile health fairs have helped to deliver preventive health care to smaller communities.
Various Medical Missions have been undertaken during the last few years, the latest to China during 2017 when a team of various medical professionals and educators held a 3 day event in Chengdu.
The mission had three components:
1) Medical Consultations: More than 600 patients were seen.
2) Health Seminars on site: Approximately 700 adults and children attended seminars on stress management, hand washing, oral health and nutrition, safe alcohol use, tobacco, cancer, diabetes, and hypertension.
3) Health Education Lessons in schools: During the mission, more than 3,000 students in local schools received training from Mission volunteers in oral health and nutrition including teeth brushing and in hand washing.
For advice on holding a Health Fair by your club see our publications.
One in 160 children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a range of conditions characterised by some degree of impaired social behavior, communication and language, and a narrow range of interests and activities that are both unique to the individual and carried out repetitively.
ASDs begin in childhood and tend to persist into adolescence and adulthood. In most cases the conditions are apparent during the first 5 years of life. Individuals with ASD often present other co-occurring conditions, including epilepsy, depression, anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
The level of intellectual functioning in individuals with ASDs is extremely variable, extending from profound impairment to superior levels.
Interventions for people with ASD and other developmental disorders need to be accompanied by broader actions for making their physical, social, and attitudinal environments more accessible, inclusive and supportive.
ASDs often impose significant emotional and economic burden on people with these disorders and their families. Caring for children with a severe form of the condition may be demanding, especially where access to services and support are inadequate. Therefore the empowerment of caregivers is increasingly being recognized as a critical component of care for children with ASD.
TB Awareness & Treatment
Worldwide, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause from a single infectious agent.
In 2019, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with tuberculosis(TB) worldwide. 5.6 million men, 3.2 million women and 1.2 million children. TB is present in all countries and age groups.
In 2019, the 30 high TB burden countries accounted for 87% of new TB cases. Eight countries account for two thirds of the total, with India leading the count, followed by Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and South Africa.
Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis and a health security threat. A global total of
206 030 people with multidrug- or rifampicin-resistant TB (MDR/RR-TB) were detected and notified in 2019, a 10% increase from 186 883 in 2018.
Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is among the health targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs. Tuberculosis is curable and preventable.
TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.
About one-quarter of the world's population has a TB infection, which means people have been infected by TB bacteria but are not (yet) ill with the disease and cannot transmit it.
Common symptoms of active lung TB are cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.
TB is a treatable and curable disease. Active, drug-susceptible TB disease is treated with a standard 6-month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer. Without such support, treatment adherence is more difficult.
Education, testing and awareness are HEWRAGs areas of interest.