A day in the field in Katete

 mothers' under 5 growth monitoring clinic
Mothers and children (in their finest) at an under 5’s growth monitoring clinic in Mnthipa Village, Katete
Today I had the pleasure to accompany the KZF staff of a field trip in Katete where we linked up with a group of women who had brought their children to an under 5s growth monitoring session. With the weighing finished, Justina, Elias and Albert introduced them to the Kit Yamoyo. Here is Justina in full flow:

Demonstrating the Kit Yamoyo to Katete Mothers

After the demonstration 65 Kit Yamoyo vouchers were distributed. First to get them were those that had come the furthest.

Kit Yamoyo Promoter gives vouchers to mothers Katete mother with Kit Yamoyo voucher

There was a lot of interest, and the show of hands from those who would be willing to buy for cash was encouraging.

Then it was off to the local registered retailer where the vouchers were exchanged for Kit Yamoyos.

Mothers queue to exchange their vouchers for a kit Yamoyo Retailer exchanges Kit Yamoyos for vouchers from mothers

Now that’s how it should work and is working in most places. However, unfortunately we have uncovered some fraud involving a handful of promoters who have connived with a few retailers. In this fraud promoters have given vouchers directly to retailers and the retailers have redeemed them without any mothers seeing any kits! We have confronted those involved and explained that they are stealing from mothers in their own community which has led to remorse being shown by most of those involved who hadn’t fully realised the consequences of their action.

A learning point for me in this is that I think we should have been much more upfront about how you could possibly defraud the voucher system during the training rather than leave people to work it out for themselves. And we should have explained the consequences, for mothers, to both the retailers and promoters.

Anyway despite this glitch, the figures to the 31 December 2012 show:

  • 20,335 Kit Yamoyo had been assembled by PharmaNova, our local pharmaceutical supplier
  • 4,060 Kits were in stock at Medical Stores Limited (our distributor – we aim to have 3 months’ supply available)
  • The Katete wholesaler held 2,895 in stock and had re-ordered 80 boxes (2800 Kits) for January
  • The Kalomo wholesalers held 4,045 in stock, and had re-ordered 80 boxes for January
  • Katete retailers had purchased 6,030 Kit Yamoyos
  • Kalomo retailers had purchased 3,305 Kit Yamoyos

Pretty impressive from a standing start in mid-September. In this period the availability of ORS and Zinc from the public health facilities in Kalomo district has been close to, if not, zero.

Anecdotal evidence from those running health centres in the trial area is that the number of mothers reporting there with children with diarrhoea has fallen significantly. Hopefully the midline survey, due in March, will provide the data to prove this.