District News

Southington Rotary plants trees in local parks

On May 11, members from the Southington Rotary Club joined forces to plant 3 trees in local parks in Southington. Two trees were planted at Rec Park and one at Panthorn Park.  Environmental Sustainability is a major focus for Rotary Clubs all around the world.

Rotary International Exchange Program Scholarship Program

Rotary International is proud to announce full scholarships to students who want to study abroad in high school.  Like a college scholarship, Rotary will pay all tuition at an International High School, Books, Room and Board, and provide the student with a monthly stipend of around $100 per month.  As is customary with college scholarships, the student is responsible for travel, insurance, and application fees.
Rotary District 7890 is proud to announce this program in conjunction with our local high schools and stipulates that students will be able to select from a list of 40 countries.  Please contact your local Rotary club to ensure their participation in this program.  All student applicants should be in the top 40% of their class and display high moral character. 
Rotary International is one of largest service organizations throughout the world with clubs in nearly 200 countries.   This organization offers students from 15 to 18.5 years old at time of departure, an opportunity to study internationally and not only become fluent in another language but become familiar with the country’s customs and traditions.  They will study in local schools and live with local families and acquire  attributes that they will find indispensable throughout their lives like independent decision making skills, budgeting, handling unique situations, and developing greater self confidence. 
Applications are now available on Exchangestudent.org and initial interviews will take place at Springfield College during the first week of December.   Students who have just graduated from high school are eligible for this program as long as they are under 18.5 upon departure.
Applications will be accepted up to January 31st but please be aware that many countries will not be available because their slots will have been taken by those applying and interviewing during the December interviews.
 To find your nearest club, search Rotary District 7890 and browse the club directory or contact Rich Friedman - richefriedman@yahoo.com.

Rotary of Avon-Canton Initiative, now in it's 3rd year of the 5 year commitment, pledging $150,000 to Favarh.

In keeping with Rotary’s commitment to public service, a portion of proceeds from the Tastes-of-the-Valley and the Annual Golf Tournament will go towards the construction of an exciting new Life Enrichment Program (LEP) building for Favarh – The Arc of the Farmington Valley. This project will help the nonprofit provide even greater support for its clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The 7,500 square-foot building, located at Commerce Drive in Canton, will enhance Favarh’s day programs for adults who can’t work because of disability and medical complexities or who have retired from work. Favarh day programs place a high emphasis on daily community excursions with a priority on volunteer work.

The new facility will be named the Rotary of Avon-Canton Building.
The Rotary of Avon-Canton has pledged over 5 years, $150,000 through 2021 toward the project. The new building will be adjacent to the Rails-to-Trails, enabling the inclusion of a Rotary Café operated by Favarh participants where walkers, bikers and their canine friends will be able to enjoy healthy snacks and drinks. Construction on the building has now begun, with completion slated for 2019.

Enfield Rotarian sings National Anthem

Enfield Rotary recently gathered together for a group outing at a Hartford Yard Goats baseball game on June 28, and saw past Enfield president Bill Squires sing the National Anthem. 

On May 29, Bill Squires, past Enfield Rotary president and past District Secretary, performed O Canada at Fenway Park before the Toronto Blue Jays -- Boston Red Sox game.  This is Bill's second appearance singing for the Red Sox.
Highly ranked healthcare professionals, Dr Courtney Townsel, Kimberly Karanda, Dr Leandri Hattingh of Tokai, Kate Sims, Dr Linda Matonis and Mary Painter.

A Rotary exchange programme has sparked awareness of the growing use of opioids and their effects on child birth.

A team of highly ranked health-care professionals from Connecticut, in America, visited Western Cape health-care facilities recently and shared knowledge on the complex problem of addiction during childbirth.

The visit followed Tokai resident Leandri Hattingh’s visit to Connecticut in May.

She says a 2010 study on illicit drug use and treatment in South Africa found that 0.1% of South Africans abused opioids, while opioids accounted for 9.2% of admissions to treatment facilities.

“While the national guidelines for the management of opioid use disorders promote the use of opioid substitution treatment, the costs are prohibitive, and access is currently limited mainly to the private health-care system.”

Kimberly Karanda, of the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, says Connecticut is dealing with the highest opioid crisis in the world with 46 000 deaths in 2016, at 2.8 per day. However, this state is also a leader in child-welfare reform.

As a psychiatrist with the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Stellenbosch, Dr Lize Weich confirms that they have noticed an increased trend in opioid use disorders, including illicit opiates like heroin as well as legal opiates like prescription and over-the-counter opioids (like codeine-containing analgesics and cough syrups), in the country.

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo says although the province has the lowest maternal mortality rate in South Africa, substance abuse during pregnancy is still rife among expecting mothers and includes smoking, alcohol and tik.

Mowbray Maternity Hospital is the largest dedicated maternity hospital in South Africa and delivers more than 10 000 babies annually. It reports the incidence of substance use in pregnant women has increased almost threefold over a five-year period with tik being the drug of choice.

Anneline Sweetnam, of Constantia Pharmacy, says they have seen an increase use of opioids -found in pain and cough medications.

In 2015, the Medicines Control Council passed legislation to reduce the dosage per pack size and reduce the quantity of codeine per dosage. Patients have to provide their identity number and each purchase gets recorded by pharmacists who counsel patients on possible problems if overused.

“In certain countries, codeine is a banned substance, or requires a script from a doctor, where it is easier to identify when there is a dependence problem. In South Africa, there is no central database to link all purchase records for medication so people often pharmacy hop to avoid counselling,” says Ms Sweetnam.

Prolonged use of opioids by the mother during pregnancy, she says, can result in physical dependence in the newborn who can suffer from withdrawal symptoms.

Doctors will only recommend the short-term use, if that is the only available option and necessary, because opioid analgesics cross the placenta.

Sihle Ngobese, spokesperson for the Department of Social Development, says that since 2014 they have responded to over 50 000 drug-related cases, and treated 35 502 that make up 92% of all admissions at its 51 treatment sites across the Western Cape.

Most of those treated are male, at 73% of admissions, while 27% are female.

The latest admission data shows that tik, cannabis, alcohol and heroin (in that order) are the most common primary substances of use reported at treatment centres/ programmes.

Dr Hattingh says robust epidemiological information on substance abuse in South Africa is lacking, as is widely accessible intervention.

Around 30% of South African adults are reported to use alcohol, and 30 to 50% of users engage in harmful or hazardous drinking, often binge drinking over weekends.

One of the mitigations by the Western Cape Health Department is the First 1000 Days programme. Launched in February 2016, it focuses on the first 1 000 days of life – the time spanning roughly between conception and a child’s second birthday-a unique period of opportunity when the foundations of optimum health, growth, and neurodevelopment across the lifespan are established.

Assistant professor of maternal foetal medicine at the University of Michigan, Dr Courtney Townsel, says that while women can be educated about the short-term neonatal effects of opioid use in pregnancy, such as neonatal withdrawal, the long-term effects of opiate use in pregnancy are less clear.

“This is a new epidemic for us in America, so the data on long-term outcomes is not robust. Older studies have shown neurodevelopmental and behavioral problems in these children. Added to this are the complications that many mothers are using more than one addictive substance: tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.”

The Americans travelled to various sites across the Western Cape, including health and social care facilities, meeting representatives from NGOs and patient advocacy groups.

They also spent time with FASfacts, a non-profit organisation that educates communities on the devastating effects of alcohol on an unborn baby.

CEO and founder of FASfacts Francois Grobbelaar said the BOB programme makes use of experiential learning and life skills such as responsibility, self-esteem, respect and honesty are taught to the children from a very early age. “There is no such programme in American schools and the visitors would like to implement this programme,” said Mr Grobbelaar.

Dr Hattingh says “Saving Mothers and Children” is one of the six key focus areas of Rotary International.


Upcoming District Events

Save the date! Please add these to your Club's websites and share with members.
District Foundation Dinner
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Chez Josef, Agawam, MA 
Date & location to be determined
Thursday March 7-9, 2019
Framingham, MA
District Assembly
Date & location to be determined
District Business Meeting
Date & location to be determined
District Conference-
Friday, May 3-4, 2019
Danvers, MA 
RI Convention
June 1-5, 2019
Hamburg, Germany
District Installation Diner
Thursday, June 20, 2019 
Riverview, Simsbury, CT
Two District 7890 Rotarians were honored at the Multi-District Conference on May 20th.
First, District Governor Dave Mangs was recognized for his service as District Governor
Second, past District Governor Eileen Rau was awarded the Service Above Self Award, the highest award given by Rotary International.  The Service Above Self Award is Rotary International's highest honor for individual Rotarians.  This award recognizes up to 150 Rotarians annually (out of over 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide!) who have who demonstrated their commitment to helping others by volunteering their time and talents with exemplary humanitarian service, in any form and at any level, with an emphasis on personal volunteer efforts and active involvement in helping others through Rotary.
Upcoming Events