Month March 2015

Month March 2015

The life of a Community Champion

`Maswabi Precious Matantilo March 30, 2015
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Justine Mwape is one of the most hardworking Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) volunteers in the Serenje District of Central Province. He led Kabamba ward to end open defecation in 2014 when he was serving there as a Community Champion. His journey was not so smooth as he had to work as the only Champion in the area for some time after his co-champion left. He had to supervise about 51 sparsely populated villages alone. This did not limit him as he decided to put in some extra hours to ensure adequate sanitation in his area of operation. Mwape became a Champion soon after the CLTS programme was introduced to the area in 2013. He describes community work as an inborn thing, something that comes naturally and enables him to thrive with ease even in challenging situations.

Asked how he was able to lead the ward to stop open defecation, he stated that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Chief Kabamba and Akros were very instrumental in helping him facilitate the change. He further stated that his vast prior experience in community work instilled some skills that he used in the CLTS programme such as team building, facilitation and conflict management.

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Kaunda Square Clinic increases efforts towards malaria elimination

`Maswabi Precious Matantilo March 9, 2015
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A resident of Kaunda Square tests for malaria.

As Malaria declines in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, there has been a shift of focus from malaria control to elimination programs. In 2011, the Active Infection Detection (AID) program was introduced to Lusaka in an effort to eliminate malaria. Since its inception, a drastic reduction of malaria has been recorded making Lusaka a possible candidate for malaria elimination.

Kaunda Square clinic confirmed a total of 15 positive cases in January, all of which had a history of travel outside Lusaka. “In a month, we record about 5 to 10 cases of malaria, sometimes zero,” said Martin Kaluwaji, Kaunda Square clinic officer in charge.“ Among the positive cases we recorded, 99 percent are imported from outside Lusaka. In fact, in the last 4 years, we have not recorded a single locally transmitted case of malaria,” he added.

David Chibwe, 65, an artist and resident of Kaunda Square, states that he does not remember the last time he had malaria. After testing negative for malaria, he expressed happiness with the result stating that he sleeps under an insecticide treated mosquito net and keeps his surrounding free from long grass and stagnant water.

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