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Belizean Dr Nyreese Castro is in Nigeria launching Rotary International’s Together for Healthy Families in Nigeria (THFN) three-year project

Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2023. 6:27 pm CST.

Photo Courtesy: Dr Nyreese Castro

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Belizean Dr Nyreese Castro is visiting Nigeria launching Rotary International’s Together for Healthy Families in Nigeria (THFN) three-year project.

Dr. Castro is the Area of Focus Manager for Disease Prevention and Treatment and Maternal and Child Health (DPT/MCH) at Rotary International/The Rotary Foundation. Dr. Castro took up the position with Rotary International in Chicago in May 2021 and since then she’s been very busy.

According to the promotion of the THFN Conference, Dr. Castro “provides technical support to Rotarians and maintains strategic partnerships for the facilitation of DPT/MCH programmatic initiatives.

“Nyreese is passionate about increasing the world’s access to health care services by developing and improving public health policies and supporting programs that benefit the most vulnerable populations. She has vast experience in working with Governments, civil society groups, and the private sector in the health development space.”

“I have a technical advisory role in the development of projects and programs that get implemented by Rotary members around the world,” Dr. Castro said.

She explained that Programs of Scale is the newest grant making mechanism that Rotary International has started. It’s an annual competition where Rotary members submit proposals for a 2-million-dollar award.

“It must be in one of Rotary’s seven areas of focus,” Dr. Castro stated.

“This one happens to be in my area, so we played a key instrumental role in the development of the program’s work plan and monitoring and evaluation plans. We oversee the implementation of the program here in Nigeria.

“The award was given to the Rotary Action Group for Maternal and Child Health, Nigeria Branch so it is implemented in District 9125.”

The ‘Together for Healthy Families in Nigeria’ program seeks to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in the target areas in Nigeria by 25%, reaching 2.3 million people, a Rotary International report added.

Dr. Castro said more than 70 proposals were submitted for this year’s Program of Scales award.

According to Dr. Castro, this is the second two million award being granted by Rotary. The first one she oversaw was a malaria elimination program in Zambia in 2022.

“Kicking off the project, we have multiple different partners; federal ministry of health, state ministries of health, the World Health Organization was here, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation representative was here, so we’re really just flagging off the program, and getting ready for a three-year cycle of implementation,” Dr. Castro said.

Dr. Castro noted the Rotary International advisers have been very busy over the last few days with a conference on Monday, a television talk show on Tuesday, and the official opening on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The winners of the next award will be announced at the Rotary International Convention in Melbourne, Australia in late May.

Dr. Castro said Belize could benefit from Rotary International programs in many of the areas of focus like the one being kickstarted in Nigeria now.

Dr. Castro is the daughter of politician Edmond ‘Clear The Land’ Castro and his wife Helen Castro.


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