Key Messages

1.     Calmed programme based on vocational training the trainer model had been piloted successfully with validated outcomes in improving knowledge, skills and behaviour of health care professionals caring for pregnant women, babies and communities, in two sites in India.

2.     A technical assistance package(training resources, volunteers, partnership with global organisations and access to funding) to implement future high impact programmes for the elimination of preventable maternal and new-born mortality is now available.

3.     Rotarians, Rotaractors and Activists are invited to join Rotarian Vocational Alliance Saving Mothers and Babies( for joint action.

4.     Country champions are needed to act through In-Country Forum (a partnership of Rotarians, Rotaractors, NGOs and Government) to offer technical assistance and implement strategic programmes (scaling up of the Calmed training model), for the elimination of preventable maternal and new-born mortality in the country.

5.     Vocational expertise and partnership have been shown to help growth in high impact Rotary service engagement, programme development and Rotary membership recruitment.

HAMBURG MEETING– This was a round table discussion during the Hamburg Convention, on creating a road map to acceleration towards eliminating preventable maternal and new-born mortality in individual countries in need.

PARTICIPANTS– The session was moderated by RI Director Elect Dr Jan Lucas Ket (RI District 1580). Opening speakers were PDG Dr. Himansu Basu (RI District 1120) and PDG Dr Urs Herzog (RI District 1980). The discussion was opened by Past RI Vice President Celia Cruz de Giay (RI District 4895). Participants were all invited personally -included were twenty-six Rotarians, and guests, including Board members of Rotarian Action Group on Population Development (RFPD) and Rotarian Doctors Fellowship (IFRD). Staff member Zuhal Sharp provided valuable logistical support.


Dr Jan Lucas Ketwelcomed the members of the audience, highlighted the need to have a continuous, sustainable, future-oriented, effective and measurable approach to maternal mortality reduction. These will be based on Rotary’s strategic priorities: increase our impact, focus on programs, expand our reach and enhance participant engagement with existing organizations.

He presented two specific challenges to the audience: Preparing a vocational service training project together with Rotary and Rotaract clubs. Rotary as a grassroots organisation is well placed to support such initiatives. Secondly, as a long-term solution, founding one or more knowledge centres, a kind of Rotary MCH Academy, for vocational training on MCH in the broadest sense: offering training not only on medical (obstetrics, paediatrics and public health) but also on safety, hygiene, economic circumstances, education and environmental sustainability, and on partnerships, accountability, monitoring and evaluation. The centres when fully functional will produce caregivers of international standard at certificate, diploma and master level with potential for leadership and research.

Dr Himansu Basuindicated that the status of maternal and child health was one of the great social injustice of the 21stcentury.   Rotary has the capability to bridge the gaps in the care of mothers and babies in low resourced settings and action should be taken.

The innovative programme CALMED “Collaborative Actions in the Lowering of Maternity Encountered Deaths” is one such high impact program which could help accelerate the reduction of the estimated 300,000 annual maternal and 6,000,000 annual child deaths.

He stressed the importance of capacity building through vocational training (training the trainer model) and partnership in creating a road map to eliminate avoidable maternal and new-born deaths. The aim is to improve knowledge, skills and behaviour of all involved in the care of mothers and babies through training and retraining. This programme is holistic, flexible and adaptable to individual country’s needs and priorities.

A Technical Assistance Package (training materials, volunteers and access to funding) is now available to assist ordinary Rotarians without specialised knowledge or expertise, to implement the programme in low resource settings. The Alliance based on vocational expertise and partnership is equipped to accelerating growth (capacity building and increase in membership). It is in alignment with Rotary’s strategic vision statement