Written by Rachael Watson
I’ve made more trips to Africa than I can count, but this most recent trip is by far the most amazing trip to date. For me, Zambia is without doubt the most exciting place on the planet. If you ‘google’ it you won’t find that anything much has changed in the peaceful African nation… except… a new organization is officially registered and setting up operations to radically change the landscape of care for severely malnourished children. I could write a small book on all the activity of the trip, but instead, I’ll do just a few highlights and pictures. If you want to know more details on any of the below, please go to facebook and post your questions.
TRAVEL – We arrived in Zambia after a 23 hours of travel from DC to Lusaka
REGISTRATION – Our first morning in Lusaka we met with our Zambian board members and lawyer to complete registration paperwork. Our registration was complete three days later. We’re official!
PEANUT PASTE – We have samples from two peanut butter producers that we’re sending to a U.S. lab to test for quality. We also had samples that were consumed on bread, apples and crackers. Taste test complete!
FACTORY – We visited 12 potential factory sites. We will renovate to meet the strict hygiene standards required for RUTF production. We’re working on narrowing down the top contenders.
CLINICS – After numerous trips to the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Community Development Mother Child Health, Lusaka District Health Office and multiple departments at the University Teaching Hospital, we obtained clearance to film and take photos of malnourished children. Zambia has very strict laws similar to healthcare privacy laws in the U.S.. We’re so very grateful for the help of all the kind individuals in the various offices that assisted us in navigating the process.
There’s so much more I could say about the starving children in the clinics, about all our meetings and all the amazing people that are coming along side us to help, but I think I’ll leave it here. That wonderfully healthy child sums it up. Currently, only 10% of the severely malnourished children in Zambia are getting the RUTF they need to recover. That’s nearly 90,000 children that we’re working for. There’s still so much to be done to ensure that more children have the outcome pictured above.
Will you join us in the work?