Zambia Diary | Day 9 and 10, Visit 3 | Visit round-up

I’m writing this sat at my desk back at home if front of a boarded up window which someone put a brick through while we were away. Luckily, it looks like they were just after the keys for the scooter that belonged to our house minder who was round at the Co-op at the time. Unfortunate enough, but not as bad as it could have been – they didn’t hang about and we’re letting the dog take the credit for that.

We flew back from Zambia yesterday (23/5/11), somewhat delayed, but missing the Volcano Cloud! So, the two days I’m reporting on are Saturday and Sunday – which wind up our third and final planning trip to Zambia, before we get the pilot started.

On Saturday I woke up to an email from Jay at the pharmaceuticals arm of the Sumaria GroupShelys Pharmaceuticals. As I reported last week, we were very concerned after our visit to MSL that the approved Zinc supplements that we want to include in the ADK (Anti-Diarrhoea Kit) were not available in one-course packages. The ones in MSL were in packets of 10 courses – far too many for our needs. So I emailed Shelys to ask about their package sizes and got this reply:

Hello Simon,

Thank you for your mail and interest in PedZinc tabs. As Chris mentioned our current pack is of One blister of 10 tablets. Let me know what are the content of kit. We are planing here with Ministry of Health for a kit with ORS and Zinc tablets. Both products are registered in Zambia.

Regards

Jay

This made my day! Funny how this ColaLife thing can really get to you! PedZinc is on the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority‘s approved list in Zambia which makes it a lot easier for us to include it in the ADK. The added benefit is that the packaging looks really attractive and although PedZinc is actually a supplement it looks like ‘real medicine’. One of the reported problems with the uptake of ORS is that it doesn’t look like ‘real medicine’ and when you have walked a long way with a very sick child on your back you want ‘real medicine’.

PedZinc packagesSo why Zinc? In May 2004, WHO/UNICEF issued a joint statement recommending the use of zinc, an essential micronutrient for human growth, development and maintenance of the immune system, and a new formulation oral rehydration solution (ORS), with reduced levels of glucose and salt, as a two-pronged approach to improved case management of acute diarrhoea in children. (Source: rehydrate.org/zinc/pdf/puzon.pdf). Zinc supplements reduce the duration of an episode of diarrhoea and protect against future bouts of diarrhoea for two to three months after the episode.

And so to Sunday (22/5/11) – and a tasteful segue straight from diarrhoea to Sunday Lunch! Sunday was a complete day off and we went to a fantastic lunch at Protea Safari Lodge about 30 minutes drive north of Lusaka with some of our very old friends and some new ones. It was a lovely way to end the week. As we finished eating this character pitched up. A Kudu!

A Kudu joins us after lunch

Even more beautiful close up:

The Kudu - even more beautiful close up

We will now be working flat out to get the final version of the plan in place to put before funders by mid-June.

Onwards and upwards!

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