FIRE has been honored to work closely with local Rotary Clubs since 2004. During the 2004 and 2005 aid distribution trips in Mongolia, the assistants and translators were volunteers from the Ulaanbaatar RotarAct Club. In 2006, in cooperation with the Ulaanbaatar Rotary Club, FIRE brought 80 computers to Mongolia — each loaded with English language teaching software and distributed to 12 schools in both Ulaanbaatar and rural Mongolia, including a deaf-student learning lab and vocational school.
In the fall of 2017, FIRE worked with the Rotary Club of Ulaanbaatar and Flagstaff Rotary Club to implement “Hepatitis Free Mongolia,” a Rotary funded Global Grant, #1529067. This project will be repeated in Khovd Province in Spring 2019 under GG#1864800.
Meredith Potts, FIRE’s Executive Director, is a member of the Flagstaff Rotary Club and was a member of District 5510’s Group Study Exchange (GSE) trip to Bangladesh in 2013. FIRE continues to visit, speak at and work with Rotary Clubs around the world. Our collaboration with Rotary International has helped shape our programs and continues to be an invaluable partnership. Please do not hesitate to contact us today for more information, to host FIRE as a guest speaker, or to partner with us.
This Global Grant initiated by the Rotary Club of Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia), District 3450 and the Flagstaff Rotary Club (Arizona, USA), District 5495. Hepatitis Free Mongolia will help uninsured individuals learn their health status, connect them to care, educate the community, train health care works and initiate prevention activities. After a successful implementation of Phase 1 in 2017, we have added additional activities to prevent the spread of hepatitis and reach even more remote, hard-to-find community members for testing.
Mongolia has the highest rate of liver cancer in the world, 6 times the international average, and among the highest rates of hepatitis B and C in the world. One in six people have hepatitis C and one in 10 have hepatitis B. 75.6% of liver cancer patients are not diagnosed until stage III or IV, with 85% dying within one year of being diagnosed. 93% of people with liver cancer have hepatitis.
Please visit our Global Grant #1864800 Fundraising Page for more information.
In the fall of 2017, FIRE worked with the Rotary Club of Ulaanbaatar and Flagstaff Rotary Club to implement “Hepatitis Free Mongolia,” a Rotary funded Global Grant, #1529067. Rotary supplied $112,000 and FIRE matched that cash contribution dollar-for-dollar, as well as managed the project in Mongolia. “Hepatitis Free Mongolia” accomplished the following activities and results in Dornod Province, visiting every country and every rural public hospital in the province.
Screening activities were successfully completed in late November. We screened a total of 5,017 people in 14 different towns and villages. Of these 5,017 people, the following tests and results were found.
- 2,000 people were started with the HBV vaccine
- 2,588 ultrasound examinations were given
- 1,419 FibroScan examinations were given
- 1,897 people were seen by a hepatologist
- 105 people were seen by an oncologist
- 300 people were tested for AFP
- 733 (14.6%) people tested positive for HBV
- 446 (8.9%) people tested positive for HBV
- 45 (.9%) people tested positive for both HBV and HCV
- 181 people were found to have cirrhosis
- 352 people were found to have fatty liver
- 44 people were suspected of having liver cancer
- 11 people were suspected of having some other kind of cancer
The 44 people that were suspected of having liver cancer (HCC) were sent to the National Center for Cancer for further testing. All 44 cases were first-time diagnoses. We have followed these 44 people since the screening. Today, their status is as follows:
- 16 people had started treatment such as TACE, RFA and surgery
- 6 people were diagnosed too late for treatment
- 1 patient died within 1 month of our screening event
- 4 people have a nodule in cirrhotic liver and are now being followed by regular doctor visits
- 9 people did not have liver cancer yet but will need to be followed by a doctor
- 3 people did not go to for further examination due to financial constraints
35% of the people seen through this project received some kind of first-time liver-related diagnosis. 1,778 people are now empowered with vital health information to change and save their lives.
Hepatitis B Vaccination – 2,000 HBV vaccine vouchers were given.
Community Awareness Fair – Our event was family oriented and included singing and dancing performances and activities for all ages. The national and local TV stations broadcast several interviews and news stories about the event. An estimated 800 people attended. In addition to the Community Awareness Fair, we spent one week at the local central market distributing information and promoting awareness. 50,000 copies of five types of pamphlets, 400 copies of a poster, and 4,000 patient record books were printed and distributed to local communities.
Health Care Worker Training – 36 health care workers from 13 counties, the provincial hospital, and the health department participated in classroom training at the Province capital for two days. All healthcare workers were given Continuing Medical Education credits for the two-day training. 400 copies of “Guidelines For The Screening, Diagnosis And Treatment Of Viral Hepatitis,” which was approved by Ministerial Order #249, were printed and distributed to local health care workers. During this training we also distributed 20 computers — one to each clinic as well as the health department. MobiComm, a Mongolian communications company, donated the processors. The United States Embassy in Mongolia donated the funds for the additional supplies including monitors, mice, keyboards, headsets and cameras. These computers will be used for long term support and training over the internet. The visiting specialists from Ulaanbaatar also worked side by side with 16 local health care workers while visiting each hospital, teaching them through a hands-on “shadow training” approach.
Advocacy Training – Twenty community leaders, business owners, and policy makers took part in a three-hour meeting. Four speakers, including doctors, FIRE representatives, and government leaders, spoke about the nation’s viral hepatitis and liver cancer morbidity, the current situation of viral hepatitis in Dornod Province, and this project’s results. They were also presented with ideas on how to care for their community through logistics and financial influences for further solution-based programming.
Due to multiple government and private sector donations and partnerships, we were able to save $17,000 from the budget for this project. These funds will be used for additonal health care worker training in fall 2019.
This project will be repeated with adjustments and updates made to accommodate the lessons learned in phase one. Phase two will be conducted in Khovd Province in Spring 2019 under GG#1864800.
In 2015, FIRE, in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Ulaanbaatar, the School of Dentistry of Mongolian National University of Medical Science (MNUMS), and the National Center of Public Health, completed a pilot project, “Healthy Smiles,” to improve oral health among kindergarten-aged children. Activities included an assessment of the children’s oral health, teaching the students proper oral health practices, and distributing supplies such as toothbrushes and calendars for tracking their teeth brushing routines. It also included creating a supportive environment for children to brush their teeth, through outreach and training of parents and teachers. A complete teaching tool kit was given to each school in the program so they can continue to teach the children proper oral hygiene. Tool kits include: a Velcro teaching apron, cartoons, booklets, and many interactive teach aids. New sinks were also installed in each kindergarten.
For more information, please visit our Healthy Smiles project page
Between 2009 and 2012, FIRE worked with the Albuquerque Del Norte Rotary Club in New Mexico, USA, and the Selbe Rotary Club in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, to distribute 152,000 sharps containers (biohazard boxes for sharp medical waste) to 305 rural hospitals and clinics in Mongolia. We reached 10 provinces and trained 2,030 health care workers. This was a two-year supply of sharps containers for every hospital in each province. These containers were distributed in conjunction with a one-day training session for representatives from every hospital, on use of the containers and proper medical waste management. We distributed educational posters and handouts as well as a one-hour training DVD which FIRE wrote, directed and produced.
Please visit our Safety Box project page for more information.