President's Message April 2022
April 2022
Dear Fellow Rotarians,
April is Maternal and Child Health Month in the Rotary Calendar. Maternal health describes the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period (after the birth), whilst Child health refers to the health, nutrition status, and mortality experienced in the key child age groups (neonatal, infant, under five). 
The health of women and children is vital for creating a healthy world. Despite progress, there are still too many mothers and children dying, mostly from causes that could have been prevented. Every day, approximately 800 women die from preventable causes relating to pregnancy and childbirth, 99% of these deaths occur in developing counties. In 2012, 6.6 million children died before the age of 5, 5 million of them in the first year of life.
The high number of maternal deaths in some areas of the world reflects inequities in access to health services, and highlights the gap between rich and poor. Almost all maternal deaths (99%) occur in developing countries. More than half of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and almost one third occur in South Asia. More than half of maternal deaths occur in fragile and humanitarian settings.
The maternal mortality ratio in developing countries in 2015 is 239 per 100 000 live births versus 12 per 100 000 live births in developed countries. There are large disparities between countries, but also within countries, and between women with high and low income and those women living in rural versus urban areas.
The risk of maternal mortality is highest for adolescent girls under 15 years old and complications in pregnancy and childbirth is a leading cause of death among adolescent girls in developing countries.
Many of these figures will have been inflated due to the impacts of Covid-19 in the last two years with the impact of the virus overwhelming health services, impacting families’ disposable incomes and family health issues.
I find it disturbing that in the 21st century up to 41 million people may suffer from famine. In 2021 known conflict areas are in Yemen, South Sudan, Northeastern Nigeria and Tigray in Ethiopia.
Violent conflict causes famine not only by affecting the production and the distribution of food, but also by preventing humanitarian food assistance from getting to those who need it most.
In addition, global warming is also affecting country’s ability to sustain the growing of basic foods to support their people.
Since February 2021 the crisis in Ukraine is having devastating consequences on civilians as families flee their homes. According to the United Nations, more than 3 million people, most of them women and children, have sought refuge in neighboring countries and across Europe, while about 1 million more people have been displaced within Ukraine.
Rotary International are accepting donations to the cause in Ukraine the link to this can be found on the RI website.
Many clubs around the world are supporting projects to improve Maternal and Child Health, also worthwhile projects to support communities in growing basic foods, and providing clean water.
Even our own rotary District 3330 has been involved in local projects to support sustainable communities. We have recently been contacted by Rotary Club Bangkok South regarding a joint project with us and the Thai Child Development Foundation in a project called Food Forest Farm Garden Shed.
The project will be based in a mountain village of Phato, which is located in a unique natural environment with rivers, waterfalls, and jungles, hidden between the Thai coastal towns of Ranong, Chumphon, and Surathani.
Having passed this area twice it is a remote and beautiful part of Thailand and has one of the largest solar panel farms I have seen in Thailand.        
As a club where possible we will continue to support these projects whilst maintaining our own support for sustainable Education.
Yours in Rotary
Phil Lawrence
President Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin.