NW Kiwanis along with other Kiwanis clubs have raised funds to vaccinate over 16,000 women of child bearing age. Kiwanis Clubs are leading this effort. Our club is proud of what has been accomplished. But we still have much to do. Although UNICEF and its partners have eliminated the disease in 35 countries since 1999, including Sierra Leone, Iraq, Cameroon and China, MNT still remains a deadly threat in 24 countries.
Surveys conducted by The World Health Organization have shown that Madagascar has eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT). More newborns and mothers’ lives are now free from the anguish of tetanus. Kiwanis received this message from Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF “Thank you, Kiwanis, for your continued commitment to the mothers, babies and families served by The Eliminate Project. Your passion and drive to deliver urgently needed funds to the countries still at-risk of this terrible disease will ensure that no mother has to worry about losing her baby to tetanus.”
In May the club’s committee finalized its search for high school students in the Upper Arlington and Grandview areas. On May 14 eleven seniors were provided financial support for their upcoming university studies. For the first time the awards were increased to allow 10 students to receive $2000 amounts and one student received $2500.
“We had many outstanding students applying for the Kiwanis scholarships this year,” said Jim Bauer, who chairs the Northwest Kiwanis Club’s scholarship program. “Approximately 20 percent of the students had a grade-point average of 4.0 or better, along with 90 percentile or higher on their SAT/ACT scores”.
Mr. Bauer stated “Every applicant had a wonderful resume of community involvement, volunteering and giving back to the community”. “Everyone on the scholarship committee felt all of the applicants were great and the idea of giving back to the communities and helping others less fortunate is certainly instilled in all of these applicants.”
These outstanding students attended Grandview High School, Columbus School for Girls and Upper Arlington High School.
A special award this year was the first annual “Jake Will Kiwanis Scholarship” given in honor of Mr. Will, a long-time member of Northwest Kiwanis and a leader of the scholarship committee.
For more information; see http://www.thisweeknews.com/content/stories/upperarlington/news/2014/05/21/northwest-kiwanis-club-awards-scholarships.html
Between March 25 and 29, a delegation from Kiwanis International and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF traveled travel to Kenya to observe UNICEF activities related to prenatal health care, immunizations and education. Kiwanis site visit delegates witnessed UNICEF immunization activities at a small health facility located more than 110 miles from the nearest hospital. Women of child-bearing age received the tetanus vaccine to protect them and their future children from this dreaded disease. Some women waited with their children for more than eight hours in order to receive a vaccination. The delegation also visited a village in the Massai community. In this village 90 percent of births occur at home. There are no roads in or out of the village.
These actions are part of a larger UNICEF effort to immunize two million women in Kenya during the month of March. Kenya is among the 25 countries where maternal and neonatal tetanus is still a public health problem.
Every $1.80 we give provides young women, like those in Kenya, immunity to tetanus for up to ten years. And this immunity is passed on to their children for the first two months of their lives. Better still, these young women will have their children vaccinated, part of a cycle of bettering basic health care which will improve the world, one child and one community at a time.