We are saddened to report that one of our long-standing projects in Zambia, 1000 Days of Motherhood, is presently on hold. Staff from our partners at the National Food and Nutrition are unable the distribute Lifeplayer units at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is worsening. They are also unable to travel around the country as the initiative is located in deep rural areas.
It is our hope that in the next few months that we will have something concrete to report and that our team will be able again to visit Zambia and this wonderful project.
With kind regards,
Jun 26, 2020
Project on Hold During Corona Virus
By Kristine Pearson - Project Manager
To date, Zambia's confirmed corona virus cases have been low with around 1,400 at the time of writing. Quarantines have been put into place, masks are mandatory and borders are closed. The current death toll is 11, with 45,000 people tested. Bars and restaurants remain closed.
Radio has been the primary communication channel that people have turned to for accurate information. Both are large projects, this one with COMACO and the other with the National Food and Nutrtion Commission are using our radios and Lifeplayer MP3s to listen to Covid-19 messaging.
However, our partners at COMACO have curtailed their operations to only essential services. New listener group formation is on hold at the moment, so we are unable to report. The initiative is on hold at present, although Farm Talk radio programmes are still broadcasting.
On another matter, Zambia’s Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya has been arrested on allegations of corruption.
The 47-year-old doctor and politician was detained by the police following an investigation by the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). "Dr Chitalu Chilufya has been charged with four counts of being in possession of property reasonably suspected to be proceeds of crime,” ACC spokesperson Jonathan Siame said. He is suspected of diverting PPE equipment and related items for the purposed of protecting Zambians against the virus.
Mar 19, 2020
1000 Days still going strong - but it's on hold
By Kristine Pearson - Founder
As we have noted in previous updates, the 1000 Days of Motherhood has been a great success to date. At least a further 1000 Lifeplayer units are needed to meet the demand. Zambia is a huge country with more than half the population still living in rural areas, the need remains great.
Although Zambia has only a few confirmed cases of the Corona Virus, the country is preparing.Schools and many government offices have been closed. People are being asked to keep their distance and limit domestic travel. If the virus takes hold in Zambia, it would be catastrophic for the country as their health system is woefully under-resourced.
We are continuing to raise funds to support rural mothers as the Lifeplayer units will be needed more than ever once this emergency passes. We are holding any funds raised until the units would be able to be distributed.
Therefore, we are unable to provide an update on the project for this quarter. We are in touch with our partners at the National Food and Nutrition Commission who are responsible for implementing the 1000 Days of Motherhood initiative. They will advise us as to when the project formally resumes with rural comunities.