The Rotary Minute is a quick one-minute story that features the work and impact of Rotary in our community and world!
One of the 7 areas for Rotary focus is Maternal & Child Health.  As Rotarians, our goal is to provide access to quality care, so mothers and children everywhere can have the same opportunities for a healthy future. An estimated 5.9 million children under the age of five die each year because of malnutrition, inadequate health care, and poor sanitation — all of which can be prevented.
Rotary provides education, immunizations, birth kits, and mobile health clinics. Women are taught how to prevent mother-to-infant HIV transmission, how to breastfeed, and how to protect themselves and their children from disease.
On a visit to southern Nigeria last October, Dr. James Gude of Sebastopol, Calif., and Mike Cook of the Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise learned how hard it can be to bring medical care to rural areas.
“We drove 20 or 30 miles from the Federal Medical Centre of Yenagoa to a satellite hospital, and it took an hour,” recalls Dr. Gude.  “Big chunks of the road were flooded, and there were people all over the place; we were going through villages and trying not to hit anybody.”
That laborious journey illustrated the reason for their visit – to help make health care available to people in isolated areas. In rural portions of Nigeria, a country with only one physician for every 2,500 people, many Nigerians seeking health services have to make trips much more arduous than the drive Cook and Dr. Gude undertook. The result, of course, is that a great many people simply don’t receive care. While it would be ideal to get more doctors in remote regions, that would take years.
Dr. Gude and the Sebastopol Sunrise Rotarians are part of a larger effort to bring technology to bear on the problem, using telemedicine. And thanks to a global grant from The Rotary Foundation, a team of health care professionals from Nigeria has been trained in telemedicine.
The Sebastopol Sunrise Rotarians have been involved with telemedicine since 2012 when then Club President Gail Thomas (a former senior official in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare) proposed it as a club priority. 
Since then, the club has worked with other Rotarians and with Dr. Gude to bring telemedicine technology and training to several hospitals around the world, including facilities in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zimbabwe. 
During a follow-up visit to the Federal Medical Centre last October, Cook and Dr. Gude found the Nigerian team making good use of their new telemedicine capabilities. These include a donated InTouch Health robot, a device that allows the remote physician to see and examine the patient and even hear the sound transmitted from a stethoscope to aid in diagnosing. Children love interacting with the robot and their parents are happy to have access to healthcare for them and their children.
“The need for telemedicine can never be overemphasized,” says Dr. Gude. “Health care should be for everyone – even for the underserved in remote areas.” 
And that is today’s Rotary Minute!