Posted on Sep 24, 2019
ROTARY DISTRICT 5470 
International Service News
By Peter Jeschofnig, D-5470 International Service Chair
    To view the complete newsletter, click on: Newsletter #18 Sept. 2019 
 
The Rotary District 5470 International Service Committee educates and nurtures Rotarians
and clubs working in the six  Areas of Focus. 
 
The following is a proposal put forward by Rahul Mehra PhD of Cañon City RC
 
Rotary has done an excellent job of reducing Polio cases across the world. However, many other diseases are still rampant; not only in the developing countries but in the developed countries as well. Examples are many infectious diseases, heart disease, cancer etc. Rather than tackling one disease at a time, we should attempt a comprehensive solution for reducing global diseases. The only cost-effective method is to prevent diseases, not treat them. Most diseases can be prevented by following good lifestyle health habits of diet, hygiene, exercise and promoting mental and social health. If we do not develop these healthy lifestyles when we are young, it becomes very difficult once we become adults. The biggest opportunity is to provide health education to children across the world on how to improve physical, mental and social health. This will help them lead a healthy lifestyle as they grow and prevent diseases. Rotary’s global initiative should be to ensure that every school child in the world gets Health Education; very similar to reading, writing and arithmetic. Health Education should be mandatory. Only then will every child be healthy and realize their full potential.
 
We know that a many children across the world grow up with unhealthy lifestyle habits including poor diet, high use of tobacco & drugs, high risk of injuries, lack of exercise as well as mental and social health issues. Prevalence of obesity; tobacco use is growing rapidly, especially in developing countries. Schools are an ideal setting for health education. Presently, there is no comprehensive curriculum of health education in most developing countries and spotty in developed countries. Improving children’s health has also been shown to improve children’s academic performance.
 
The goal of this initiative would be to develop a health education curriculum and implement it across every school in the world and at every grade level. The curriculum and its implementation would be culturally sensitive. Specifically, this will be done by (a) Developing a comprehensive health education curriculum that focuses on physical, mental and social health (b) Developing culturally sensitive books, teacher manuals and engaging materials on health education for students of Grades 1-12. (c) Training teachers on the health education curriculum. (d) Evaluating the effectiveness of the curriculum (e) Partnering with governmental and non-governmental agencies to have health education of school children be adopted as a mandatory policy in every country. Then it will become sustainable. This initiative is ideally suited for Rotarians as they are motivated to be change agents and excellent foot soldiers.
 
Rahul Mehra, Ph.D. E-mail: rahulmehra35@gmail.com ; Cell:719-371-8789