Final Visit to Zambia – Week 4

Sunday 2-Jul-2023 to Tuesday 11-Jul-2023 (10 days)

The main focus of this week was the ‘Kit Yamoyo Story’ event with Roma Chilengi, Health Advisor the the President, as guest of honour. This ran on Thursday (6-Jul-2023). It was an energising occasion and great success. It is reported on separately here. However, we were able to get a few other things done.

Simon, Roma and Sadik - Trademark handover 3
Handover of the Kit Yamoyo Trademark.
From left to right: Simon Berry (ColaLife), Prof Roma Chilengi (Health Advisor to the President) and Sadik Seedat (Chairman, Pharmanova)

On Sunday (2-Jul-2023) I visited Albert Saka at his home to get an up-to-date video on how to use the Kit Yamoyo Flexi-pack using the scale-up version of the packaging. Albert was a Project Manager at Keepers Zambia Foundation for the COTZ Trial and scale-up in remote rural areas and his wife, Agnes, starred in the current video we have that was filmed several years ago using a prototype of the flexi-pack.

On Monday (3-Jul-2023) we met with John Msimuko who was the Executive Director of Keepers Zambia Foundation when we first partnered with them in 2011 on the Kit Yamoyo trial. John was to play a key role in the ‘Kit Yamoyo Story’ event as a panel member.

On Wednesday (5-Jul-2023) we were hoping to meet with Bonnie Fundafunda. Bonnie has been a key part of the Kit Yamoyo project. Initially, as advisor to the Ministry of Health, he organised our first meeting with the then Director of Public Health, Dr Elizabeth Chizema. He then went on to manage Medical Stores Limited (MSL), the public sector medicines distributor, a key partner in the trial and scale-up. Unfortunately, he was called to travel outside the country but we were in contact regarding his moderation role of the panel session during the ‘Kit Yamoyo Story’ event.

On Wednesday afternoon we gathered with the Pharmanova team at the event venue to check out the technology.

The Kit Yamoyo Story event set-up The Kit Yamoyo Story event set-up

Thursday (6-Jul-2023) was the ‘Kit Yamoyo Story’ event and turned out to be the highlight of our visit. It was so great to see more than 100 people come together to celebrate the legacy of Kit Yamoyo and learn from it. Many of those who attended were a key part of the story. The event was used to officially hand over the Kit Yamoyo trademark to Pharmanova. ColaLife registered the trademark ten years ago as an insurance, in case things took off which they clearly have. Before the event I was interviewed on the Hot FM and several delegates heard the interview as they were driving to the event. You can listen to the Hot FM interview on SoundCloud.

On Friday (7-Jul-23) I went back to BongoHive to meet with Mapalo Lukashi. Mapalo had asked to know more about the dashboards we produced during the Kit Yamoyo scale-up. I was able to explain how we used CommCare to collect data from the dispersed team of frontline staff supporting Kit Yamoyo retailers and how we turned that raw data into KPI dashboards using Excel. I left Mapalo with a copy of the Excel workbook (XLSX file, 1.1 MB) we used to produce the dashboards with an offer to support him, if required, in the implementation of dashboards for future BongoHive projects.



Meeting with Ruth MitimingiOn Saturday (8-Jul-23) we met up with Ruth Mitimingi. Ruth was crucial in establishing our initial partnership with Keepers Zambia Foundation from late 2010 and oversaw the initial Kit Yamoyo trial. It was a great shame that her work (with Habitat for Humanity) called her away so she missed the event. However, she was very well informed when we did meet as she had watched the whole event here. Habitat are about to start a water, sanitation and hygiene effort in communities they work with and are looking to incorporate awareness raising of Kit Yamoyo.

Meeting with Bonnie Fundafunda

And finally, on Saturday evening, we were able to meet up with Bonnie Fundafunda. As usual he was brimming with ideas and we regretted that we couldn’t meet at the beginning of our trip but when we didn’t have COVID, he was travelling outside the country. However, we are following up this meeting virtually.

Monday (10-Jul-2023) was our last full day in Zambia. We visited Pharmanova in the morning to say our goodbyes. We left their factory where Kit Yamoyo is painted on the roadside wall. We were aware of this as it’s been in place since 2016:

Kit Yamoyo wall painting outside Pharmanova (2016) Jane next to Kit Yamoyo wall painting outside Pharmanova (2016)

However, as we drove past their second factory, which assembles Kit Yamoyo, we saw this:

Kit Yamoyo painting on the Pharmanova factory

It’s very special to have Kit Yamoyo here, front and centre.

In the afternoon we were privileged to visit NRB. NRB is a modern pharmaceutical manufacturing facility which Pharmanova have started leasing. They have just won approval for the manufacture of their flagship product (Panado) there. NRB is a state of the art facility and we hope that, in due course, the manufacture and assembly of Kit Yamoyo will move there too. We are grateful to Mr Vaibhav for showing us around.

NRB - Manufacturing Building NRB - Instruments Laboratory

While moving between these appointments we called into all the pharmacies we passed to carry out some informal research on ORS, Zinc and ORS/Zinc Co-pack prices and this is reported here. The conclusion was that, in Zambia, as elsewhere, the cheapest way to buy ORS and Zinc to treat diarrhoea is by buying a co-pack.

Tuesday (11-Jul-2023) was spent packing and travelling back overnight to the UK.


We are very thankful for the warm welcome we received and the enthusiastic engagement with our visit. Zambia has always been very kind to us and we are extremely grateful.