Acknowledged as an international leader in HIV/AIDS treatment and research as well as maternal and child health care, cervical cancer, malaria and tuberculosis treatment and research, CIDRZ remains rooted in approaching global health concerns on the community level first. CIDRZ is fast becoming a world-renowned resource for understanding infectious disease and for understanding medical research breakthroughs.
After being approached by leaders of their international team, DIG began to effectively address the nutritional and drug compliance needs of their HIV positive patients. Four gardens were established at designated clinics in and around Kafue, Zambia with a specific focus on HIV positive mothers. Additionally, over 25 home gardens have been developed and will hopefully continually expand to reach more households.
Each of the four sites (Kafue District Hospital, Railway Clinic, Kafue Estates Clinic and Nangongwe Clinic) are slightly different based on the facility sites and participants' needs and the available land space.
Kafue District Hospital
This is a very large garden developed primarily by the ART support group, with a portion designated for mothers in the PMTCT (prevention of mother to child transmission) and nutrition (underweight under-5s) support group. The ART support group had previously started a garden but were thwarted by cow invasions and water problems, and they were more than happy to revive their previous efforts with our help. The most significant thing is that, in cooperation with CIDRZ and the hospital, we have purchased a submersible pump to put on one of the hospital's boreholes to guarantee a year-round consistent supply of water to the garden. The group consists of over 20 motivated women who have setup their own local market and are selling produce from their harvests.
From the very start, the staff at Railway clinic were extremely supportive and enthusiastic about the garden project. They have donated a good-sized piece of land that was previously used to grow maize and sweet potatoes. We worked with a group selected by the clinic that is a combination of women in the PMTCT and nutrition support groups and community members. Railway is very centrally located in Kafue town and serves a geographically large population area. The facility garden as peaked the interest of many local community members. You can read more about Rona and how she helps lead the garden cooperative and as been extending her knowledge of the sustainable agriculture to the surrounding Kafue community here.
Kafue Estates is fairly close to Kafue District Hospital, but it is a clinic with a specific catchment area, whereas the hospital sees patients from all throughout the district. Estates is a very densely populated area where people have little space to grow gardens close to their homes, although there is plenty of land surrounding the housing development. Estates was originally built as housing for employees at the factories in town that are now less than functional; currently it serves as affordable housing for a varied population. The garden at Estates clinic is quite small but is used to demonstrate urban gardening techniques to demonstrate how to improve production even with limited space. There is a large group of people from both the ART support group and the PMTCT and nutrition support groups who are participating in this garden.
Nangongwe is similar to Kafue Estates in that it is a densely populated area that was originally designed for housing for factory workers. The garden is based in the Mother and Child Health division of the clinic and will be managed by a group of community members that will include HIV+ men and women, mothers, and others. The main focus of this project has been on nutrition and proper infant and young child feeding practices.
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