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VIPP Hosted Rotary Club International for the Brown Bag Seminar

Published: Monday, 17 Apr 2017
Author: VIPP
Department: Visiting International Professional Program

During VIPP's brown bag seminar, participants learned about the harsh realities that many women face in Africa. Dr. Sung Lee, a member of the East Lansing Rotary Club and VIPP advisory board member, shared his experiences in Africa and talked about the Rotary Club International (https://www.rotary.org/). Throughout his 40-year career as an OB GYN (obstetrics and gynecology) in the U.S., Dr. Sung Lee delivered 5,000 babies, averaging out to twenty babies a month. "But that is the case in Africa. I saw 2 nurses deliver 67 babies a night where proper medical facilities are not available," said Sung. "Receiving proper medical care is a human right. But it is not always granted to the people in Africa. Many women in Africa suffer from Obstetric fistula caused by prolonged and obstructed delivery," said Dr. Lee.  

Fistula is not a familiar term to many Americans but more than one million women still suffer from obstetric fistula worldwide and it is most prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. A woman with a fistula leaks urine and sometimes feces, and as a result, often gets abandoned by her husband and ostracized by the community because of her foul smell. (You can find more about fistula at www.fistulafoundation.org/) Ending fistula in Africa is one of many humanitarian projects Rotary International is taking part in across the globe. Since its foundation in 1905 in Chicago, Illinois by Paul Harris, Rotary International has expanded from a social club to an international service organization, currently having more than 1.2 million members and 35,000 clubs worldwide. Their proclaimed goal is to take action on our world's most persistent issues such as fighting disease and saving mothers and children.

Dr. Lee introduced humanitarian efforts the Rotary International deliver in Africa.

Dr. Lee belongs to the East Lansing Rotary Club and shared an inspirational story: the club donated 2,000 dollars to buy and plant mango trees in schools in Africa. Many school children in Africa suffer from hunger and do not have money to buy school lunch. Planting one mango tree costs 5 dollars and once they produce mangos kids can eat them for lunch. He added that 20 dollars can buy lunch for one child for up to 3 months but planting trees is more sustainable and can benefit more kids long-term.
VIPP participants enjoyed an enlightening conversation with Dr. Lee and thought about what they can do to solve problems in the world. VIPP appreciates his time with us. We will continue organizing educational and informative brown bag seminars for our visiting professionals. 

Dr.Sung Lee and VIPP participants after the VIPP Brown Bag Seminar on Rotary International.

 


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