HIV and AIDS, malaria, TB and diarrhoeal diseases are major health problems in Zambia. The HIV and AIDS pandemic has pushed most families below the poverty line. One in six adults and thirty-three thousand children are infected with the HIV virus. Longevity is forty two years of age. Malaria is the biggest killer of man, most deaths occur in children under the age of five in Sub-Sahara Africa. Lack of safe drinking water increases the risk of diarrhoea, which can be fatal in infants.
The Butterfly Tree runs a number of health programs in rural clinics, which receive very little government funding. The most crucial are malaria prevention to outreach communities in four Chiefdoms, providing mosquito nets and educational workshops. In 2015 we launched a new malaria prevention project, providing two safe products, which were first distributed in the Mukuni and Sekute Chiefdoms. HIV prevention education is essential, encouraging people to be tested in order to know their status; support, counselling and treatment are also available. Our successful HIV prevention method, using trained peer educators, works well in schools, to help prevent new cases of HIV.
We have advanced maternity care at Mukuni, Mambova, Mahalulu, Singwamba and Kasiya clinics, adding maternity wings and women’s shelters. Whenever possible we fund treatment for children, a considerable number have received financial assistance for operations, special diets, medication and physiotherapy.
Over twenty thousand people are dependent on the funding and medical supplies we provide to rural clinics. An entire Health Centre was added at Mahalulu and a rural clinic was built at Muchambile in 2014. Two further women’s shelters were added in 2015 and a new clinic for Mambova, to replace the old one, is currently under construction. We have an environmental officer on our team in Zambia and work with highly qualified government employed medical staff. Experienced volunteers from all over the world assist at the rural clinics and Livingstone hospital.
Our support is vital – without it these vulnerable people would have very limited medical services.