Parallel processing towards the launch of the trial

ColaLife is now cooking with gas! There is so much going on as we approach the trial launch in September. All partners are working in parallel towards the launch. Yesterday (1/8/12) was day 3 of the training for the enumerators recruited by our local monitoring and evaluation partner, RuralNet, at UNZA (the University of Zambia).

Jane Berry at the enumerators training
ColaLife’s Jane Berry introducing ColaLife to the enumerators. Image credit: Tracy Levy

Enumerators' training at UNZA
ColaLife’s Public Health Adviser, Rohit Ramchandani, leads a session at the enumerator training

RuralNet have shown themselves to be highly creative when it comes to the use of technology ranging from the manufacture of a compass from a coat hanger, elastic band and ballpoint pen top (left) to the use of Galaxy tablets for data collection (right).

RuralNet's Fison with his improvised compass Enumerators with Galaxy Tablets

The Galaxy tablets will be running an application called ODK (OpenDataKit) which will enable data to be uploaded from the field and checked on a daily basis with no re-keying. ODK also incorporates real-time data validation and skips questions according previous responses. This will greatly increase the efficiency and accuracy of the data collection process. The tablets will also record the GPS location of the households being surveyed. All very clever stuff and hugely motivating for the enumerators.

Today the enumerators board a bus to try out their newly acquired skills in field situations with real people!

IMG_0081While this has been going on, Jane has been running around organising the printing of the training materials and T-Shirts and trying to keep everyone to their commitments for the trial run next week. I have finally found a way of printing two sets of 41,000 labels to allow the authentication of the Kit Yamoyos and to support a ‘50% off your next kit’ offer.

The first of the training materials have started rolling off the presses but our printer has faced huge challenges. Despite having safeguards in place spikes in the power supply damaged their printing press and took it out of action for a few days which has led to an enormous backlog and stress all round – but we will get there.

The first batch to come off the press look fantastic – pictures to follow.

I’ve also been chivvying and checking – including correcting telephone numbers and bank account details given to me(!) before finalising the labels and order forms. I’ve also been liaising with the owner of Standard Sales, the wholesaler of Coca-Cola in Choma and Kalomo, and the Ministry of Health. We are now going to drop the cartons of Kit Yamoyos at Choma (not Kalomo) and Standard Sales will ship them to Kalomo. This will mean that stock will be held in both places. This is important as many of the retailers on the eastern side of Kalomo District (one of our intervention districts) come to Choma town and not Kalomo town for their supplies. I’ve been liaising with the Ministry of Health to arrange an interview with the minister (see below).

Meanwhile the film crew have been busy with interviews yesterday with Dr Fundafunda; Ian Ryden at Medical Stores Limited and the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Joseph Kasonde!

Dr Joseph KasondeDr Fundafunda is a senior adviser at the Ministry of Health and has been a mentor to ColaLife from our very first visit in October 2010. We wouldn’t be here without him. Ian is a technical adviser to Medical Stores Limited (MSL) and proudly did a walking interview through the MSL facilities. And finally the interview with Dr Kasonde. Jane and I have met with Dr Kasonde twice now; first to introduce ourselves and the COTZ trial – we wanted Dr Kasonde to hear about ColaLife from us first! During that meeting Dr Kasonde asked us to put together a concept paper on how some the ColaLife principles could be used to supply the new health posts promised by the government for remote rural areas. Anyway the concept paper went down very well and has been fed into senior strategy meetings. So our relationship with the minister is now very positive and strong and we hope that we can continue to be of assistance as the new government’s plans for the health sector are implemented.

And finally . . . Pharmanova are setting up for Kit Yamoyo assembly for the test run. This involves the installation of the sealing machine and the couriering of soap from India! The shipment of soap (by sea) was delayed leaving India and so won’t reach Zambia in time for next week’s trial run but it will be here for the trial.

Onwards and upwards!




  1. Paul Webster says:

    RT @colalife: Lots to report as we build up to the launch

  2. Helena Ball says:

    Fantastic project. Can empathise on supplies issues, good luck! RT @colalife: Lots to report as we build up to launch