Event: The Kit Yamoyo Story

The Kit Yamoyo Story space_144446

A key objective of our final trip to Zambia was to use it make some noise around Kit Yamoyo, to celebrate its legacy and reaffirm the commitment of the government and private sector to the product.

The planning for this began back in Mar-2023 when I asked James Thornton, who had been the British High Commissioner for the majority of our time in Zambia to introduce me to the current High Commissioner, Nick Woolley. The High Commission in Zambia has been very supportive of our work over the years. In Dec-2011 the Commissioner hosted a reception to celebrate the launch of the ColaLife trial and then hosted a media event to launch the partnership with Shoprite in Nov-2015. Our thinking, in March this year, was that the logical place to host a celebration and learning event during our visit would be the British High Commission (BHC). However, with the Coronation and King’s Birthday and another potential high-level visitor from the UK it was difficult to pin the BHC down to a date in their busy schedule.

But we needn’t have worried: when we mentioned the possibility of a gathering to Pharmanova, they grabbed the idea with both hands and organised the most fantastic celebration and learning event.

The Kit Yamoyo Story space

On 6th July, over 100 people gathered at Fallsway Events to celebrate the legacy of Kit Yamoyo and hear about how the partnership had worked, and partners’ plans for the future. The guest of honour was Prof Roma Chilengi, Health Advisor to the President and Director General of the Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI). Pharmanova’s CEO, Mohammed Umar, laid out some ambitious plans for the future, which we, alongside his board members and staff, were delighted to hear; watch this space! The press was out in force. It was particularly significant to have so many of the original partners there including Dr Elizabeth Chizema who was the inaugural Chair of the Kit Yamoyo Learning and Steering Group and chaired it for several years, as well as a distinguished panel, including Dr Bonface Fundafunda who had helped us get things going in 2010 – and beyond; Charles Bota, General Manager of Shoprite who agreed to carry Kit Yamoyo in 2015; new contacts for us such as Billy Mweetwa of ZAMSSA, the public health medical distributor; and collaborators since the early days including Mr Murrugappan and John Chintu from the Pharmanova team, Kampumpe Musakanya, representing LiveWell and John Msimuko ex Executive Director of Keepers Zambia Foundation.

The programme was as follows:

Programme - The Kit Yamoyo Story So Far

A video of the full proceedings was uploaded to Facebook and can be viewed here. The highlights for me were Roma Chilengi’s heartfelt and brilliantly well-informed speech and Jane’s presentation: “10 Stories that made Kit Yamoyo”. She got applause half way through as well as at the end, as she told mainly Zambian anecdotes about the development of Kit Yamoyo over the years.

The media coverage was significant. It started with a feature article by Kennedy Limwanya in The Times of Zambia the day before the event…

PRESS - Kit Yamoyo - How it all began
Click on press cuttings to see them in higher definition on Flickr

… and a radio interview on the Hot FM Breakfast Show – with hosts Chromez and Hope – just before the event kicked off which several people caught on their car radio as they were driving in.

The next day we were covered by The Times of Zambia (again),

PRESS - Chilengi showers praise on kit Yamoyo

The Daily Mail,

PRESS - 4000 kids die annually of diarrhoea cut out

The Daily Mail again,

PRESS - What you need to know about Kit Yamoyo


PRESS - Diarrhoea claims over 4000 children

and The Daily Nation:

PRESS - UK Firm Aids Pharmanova

We also made the national TV news (ZNBC News). This was captured on my phone while in a restaurant in Lusaka. I’ll try and add subtitles later!

Even though they did not host the event, the BHC were well represented by Nick Woolley who gave a speech and stayed with us all day. We were also pleased that Leah Gaffney, Head of Social Development at FCDO Zambia, attended.

The whole event was an extremely happy occasion as can been seen from the picture gallery below. But there was learning in there too. Lucy Nyondo of USAID ZAM-Health said in her public contribution that there were lessons that she would be taking away.

We wish to thank Pharmanova for hosting and organising such a brilliant event and give special mention to Lydia Campbell-Davys who did such a fantastic job.

Enjoy the pictures…