The Butterfly Tree is making great strides advancing health facilities in rural Zambia. In addition to the Health Centre we opened at Mahalulu last year, we have built a clinic at Muchambila and two more women’s shelters at Singwamba and Kasiya thanks to generous donations from The Besom and a private donor. This enables women to have a safe place to stay prior to the onset on labour.
With high prevalences of HIV, TB and Malaria there are not enough rural clinics in Zambia. Many people have to walk 30 miles to seek medical attention, which is no mean feat if you are heavily pregnant, have a high temperature or some disability, especially when the temperature soars to 40 degrees Celsius. Mukuni Health Centre has a catchment in access of 8,000 people, this number could be reduced if there were more health posts in outreach areas.
Our new malaria prevention programme, using Vectorcide products aims to reduce the number of cases of malaria, especially in the under fives. 75% of deaths caused by malaria are this age category in sub-Sahara Africa. Our aim is to replace harmful indoor residual spraying with Mozzimort coating. Mosquito nets are still vital and will work in conjunction with the new products to give maximum protection.
Last year saw an alarming increase of malaria in the Southern Province of Zambia. The rainy season starts in November, therefore we urgently need funds to buy more products and mosquito nets in order to avoid a further increase in malaria. With drug resistance growing, prevention is essential. The first villages to be targeted are Chuunga and Kamwi, in the Mukuni Chiefdom, thanks to generous funding by Saga Charitable Trust.
We continue to provide workshops for HIV prevention, using Meet Mutsa’s successful method of training peer educators, to spread the word amongst school pupils. With the extensive presence of HIV, teenage pregnancies and alcohol problems it is imperative that children learn about the dangers of HIV and AIDS at an early age. Our aim, as always, is to promote good health to give these orphaned and vulnerable children a better chance in life.