At the beginning of April, a Kiwanis International and U.S. Fund for UNICEF delegation—including Kiwanis International Foundation President Lance Incitti and his wife Ruth Incitti—made a special visit to Haiti to see The Eliminate Project in action.
“We had an opportunity to go with a mobile immunization team in the northern part of Haiti to immunize women of childbearing age. After just four days of the campaign, they reached 54 percent of women,” says Lance.
Nearly 50 percent of tetanus cases in the Caribbean occur in Haiti. The island country carried out a nationwide campaign against maternal and neonatal tetanus in April, aiming to immunize nearly 1.5 million women of reproductive age during the first round of the second phase of vaccinations. Countries like Haiti sometimes have to conduct three rounds of tetanus immunizations in different phases, due to geographic access, availability of financial resources, and other factors.
Seeing vaccination efforts reinforced the key role UNICEF plays in The Eliminate Project.
“With more than 6,100 Kiwanians working to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus worldwide, our recent visit to Haiti helped me realize the value of our partnership with UNICEF,” says Ruth Incitti. “Kiwanis could not undertake this project alone. Working together, we are changing the world and saving lives!”
“There is no doubt in my mind that Kiwanis is doing the right thing,” adds Lance. “I couldn’t be happier and prouder of what we are doing for the children in Haiti.”
Lance and Ruth Incitti of the New Jersey District were joined by District Coordinator Sue Fleschner of the Kentucky-Tennessee District.
Read more about the delegates’ experiences on The Eliminate Project blog as well as see some of their photos. Share these with your club and district so they can see how UNICEF and Kiwanis are, again, making a difference in the lives of countless families around the world.