Special Club meeting October 15 on ZOOM. See details on the Event Tab.

Deaf and hard of hearing children in Uganda face a myriad of challenges, and very limited resources.  To address those challenges, the Rotary clubs of New Westminster in Canada, and Kololo-Kampala in Uganda are sponsoring the establishment of a Hearing Health Centre in memory of Dr. Irwin Stewart.  

The Centre will target children under 6 and their families.  Intervention at this stage has the greatest potential for lifelong impact.  The Centre will address early diagnosis, early intervention services, a pre-primary education program and parental support and outreach.  Additionally, it will provide staff and other ENT professionals with mentoring/training in modern prevention techniques and the treatment of hearing and other ear disorders.  This will help to sustain the initiative. The Centre will be partly based in a clinical setting at Makere University Hospital in Kampala.  University personnel can provide only limited support.   Professionals will be hired locally.  The Centre will be operated by a registered NGO, Hear His Voice.  Dr. Brian Westerberg of Vancouver, a colleague of Dr. Stewart, will coordinate medical and professional support from Canada.

Dr. Irwin Stewart, and his wife Lois, spearheaded many overseas humanitarian health projects and dedicated much of their retirement to improving Hearing Health Care in Africa, particularly in Zimbabwe and Uganda.  Irwin was a hugely committed Rotarian, a member of the Rotary Club of New Westminster who served Rotary in many capacities, including District Governor.  As a physician, Irwin was recognized as a pioneer in the medical profession, he was a full Clinical Professor at UBC, Head of Otolaryngology, Professor Emeritus, a member of the Fellowship of Royal Colleges of Surgeons (FRCS) who received many honours including the Order of Canada.  Both Irwin and Lois exemplified Rotary’s motto “Service Above Self” and they have left a huge legacy of service in hearing treatment, education, and training through their volunteer efforts, at home and abroad, and very significantly in Uganda.  They will forever be remembered as humble and kind humanitarians.

The Hearing Centre builds on and extends the work begun by Dr. Stewart and continued by Dr. Westerberg and others through a number of Rotary projects.  Establishing the Centre, and naming it in honour of Dr. Stewart, are fitting tributes to a remarkable Canadian Rotarian.

Funding for the Centre is coming from a Rotary Global Grant project sponsored by the two Rotary Clubs.  A good deal of the $133,000 (US) project cost is being provided by Global and District Rotary Foundation grants, along with a $40,000 (US) contribution from the Government of Canada.  The Rotary Club of New Westminster is committed to raising $23,000 (US) to complete the project funding.  Some donations have been received, and the Club itself will provide part of the funding.