Last week I had my first day working with the Home Based Care Program run by the Catholic Diocese of Ndola. It took a few days of going through the respectful channels and meeting different people before I was finally able to get into the field and start work. We were in the United Church of Zambia in Kamatipa running a static clinic for their HIV positive clients. The HBC program runs these static clinics once a month in each of their 4 catchment communities. In the clinics they weigh, screen and dispense drugs to the clients. They don’t have the capability to provide ARVs but instead help to supply them with health supplements such as Aspirin, Vitamins and Folic Acid and refer the clients to different clinics for other treatments. My job was to observe how the clinic worked and record people’s information as they got their medicine.
The field supervisor who I will be working with is Grace; she was very nice and taught me some Bemba so I can help fill prescriptions at a future clinic. I’ve learnt, Uluchelo – morning, akasuba – afternoon and ichungulo – evening. I really enjoyed the clinic; it was nice meeting everyone and seeing so many people who are healthy because of the free ARVs that are now offered at clinics and the supplements that we provided. It was a very successful day and we processed 105 clients in the community this afternoon.
I’ve really enjoyed living in Zambia so far, everyone greets you and talks to you wherever you go, even when we went to the soccer game last week people would come and ask to take pictures with us or just be happy to say hi. I really like living in MEF, despite the cold showers, it’s very nice living in the college community because there’s lots of people ourage to meet and a big field right behind our house where we can play sports and hang out. The contrast between here and Dubai was very evident when we first arrived but as I’m here longer I don’t feel like they’re lacking very much in anything other than money. The sense of family and the friendliness is amazing; everyone we meet has been kind and welcoming to us. I can’t wait to start learning more Bemba and meeting more people in the communities I’ll be working in.