During the field trip on Thursday (8/11/12) the feedback we got on the Kit Yamoyo was 100% positive. When people were asked if the Kit Yamoyo was good the response wasn’t ‘Yes’ but ‘Maningi’ meaning ‘very’. However, I’m always suspicious that people say what you want to hear.
Before our trip out on Friday morning, I checked in with the Katete wholesaler and put this too him. He said that I was not to worry, in the villages if your product is shit people will tell you! In this context, meet Tasila Phiri and her daughter Dialess Daka (pictured below).
We were at Chison Banda’s shop, pictured below (picture taken on 15/10/12 by Elias Lungu).
When we arrived at the shop, Chison was there and so was the promoter for the area and Tasila was sent for. She arrived with a beaming smile, sat down and started talking about the Kit Yamoyo she had used to treat Dialess Daka two weeks ago. Unprompted she went through the kit components one by one saying how she’d used them. She’d boiled water and cooled it. She’d washed her hands with the soap before using the Kit Yamoyo container to mix the ORS which Dialess drank from the container itself. She then said she completed the whole course of Zinc in 5 days. She gave 1 tablet in the morning and one in the evening. We questioned this as the correct dosage is 1 tablet a day for 10 days. It turns out that the retailer and the promoter (who have been trained by Keepers’ staff) had told her to take one tablet a day but the health centre staff had said that if she wanted a rapid effect she should give 2 tablets a day!
Anyway the diarrhoea had stopped and mother and child are very happy. At this point Elias, the Katete Project Officer, nodded his head in my direction and said “Good story”. We were at the point where you say thank you and bid your farewells when Tasila continued . . . in Chewa . . . “My child had diarrhoea since June” she said. “3-4 days of diarrhoea, 1-2 without, just like that. She had no appetite and was irritable and miserable. I went to the health centre twice but it didn’t help. Since using the Kit Yamoyo the diarrhoea has stopped and she has got her appetite back.”
A good story just turned into a very good story. So what was it that made the difference? Was it the fact that the ORS was mixed to the correct concentration? Was it the Zinc? Or did Tasila Phiri just get lucky? We don’t know but we will get a better indication when we do the midline survey in February/March 2013. In the meantime this is very encouraging.
Friday’s trip also took us to Kazika Village, deep in the forest just south of South Luangwa National Park. Kazika is 19km from the nearest health centre which is actually in the neighbouring district. Even if you had a bicycle, you would have to push it for the first 3 km because the road is so bad.
We are desperate to recruit a retailer in Kazika and that was the purpose our visit. There is only one shop in the village and that had only opened 2 weeks ago. It was being looked after by the owner’s younger brother when we arrived so Charlotte explained the kit to him. His mood changed from ‘vague interest’ to ‘engaged’ as the kit was demonstrated. Look at his face in the video below and then watch as the ORS solution is consumed by the children who had gathered. We sincerely hope that we have done enough to convince this retailer to come on board.