Posted by Roy Mann, Rotary Member
Today was another active day in Zambia’s Copperbelt. Our Rotary delegation went in two different directions, one to Luanshya and another to Mufulira—almost on the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
I was in the latter group that began with a visit to Kitwe’s Buchi clinic. There we encountered palpable suffering – pregnant women with malaria, and a long dark corridor filled with people waiting to be screened for malaria and other illnesses. The maternity ward did not have insecticide-treated bednets and there was a stagnant pool of water right outside of the window. Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to malaria as pregnancy reduces a woman’s immunity to malaria and increases the risk of spontaneous abortion and stillbirths.
There was quite a contrast between the Buchi public clinic in Kitwe and the privately operated Malcolm Watson Hospital run by the Mopani Copper mines where we met Rotarian Dr. Frederick Kaoma. This facility is open to all Mopani mines staff and their families and also available to the general public if they can pay for their services.
Dr. Frederick led us to an orphanage supported by the Mufulira Rotary Club that cares for some 150 children. We delivered a new soccer ball and some bed nets. We also handed bed nets to young mothers at the Rotary funded Murunu Health Center. . . I’m inspired by my new Rotarian friends from Zambia who, along with the PATH-MACEPA folks, embody a common principle that motivates us all – Service Above Self!