The catchment area where I serve is made up of 6 different zones: Lubilo, Kamabuta, Mutoma, Kifuwe, Chalimbana, and Yamakwakwa. Population size is a little over 5,400 people. The catchment area stretches 15km along the main tarmac road, the M8 Road, from Kamabuta to Kifuwe. From the M8 Road, the catchment area extends south, down a dirt road called Munyambala Road for 10km, passing Chalimbana and ending at Yamakwakwa. The catchment also extends 5km to the north, where Mutoma can be found, as well as the Kabompo River, the deepest river in Africa, I’m told. Lubilo is located at the catchment’s center, where our rural health centre, Lubilo Health Centre (LHC), is located. Put it all together and the catchment area is a solid 15km x 15km area, give or take. My house is located on the cusp where Lubilo ends and Chalimbana begins, in Kadinsu village.
The land is fairly flat in the catchment with a lot of open land and forestation. The majority of the catchment is made up of farming families, tending to fields and livestock on a daily basis. Transportation within the catchment is either on bicycle or on foot, although automobiles and motorcycles can be seen traveling on both the M8 Road and Munyambala Road everyday.
We have four schools is our catchment: Kamabuta Basic School, Kifuwe Basic School, Chalimbana Community School, and Yamakwakwa Community School. Kamabuta Basic School’s enrollment is between 700-800 students each term, grades 1 through 9. Kamabuta has a total of 16 teachers; 8 men and 8 women. Kifuwe Basic School’s enrollment is 500-600 students each term, also grades 1 through 9. Kifuwe has a total of 10 teachers; 5 men and 5 women. Both Chalimbana Community School and Yamakwakwa Community School’s enrollment fluctuates every term because a majority of students who attend these two schools come from farming families, and during farming and harvesting seasons, those students are found mostly in the fields, helping their families, as opposed to being in school. The number of teachers in both community schools fall to the same trend. All four school’s leadership is made up of a Head Teacher, Deputy Teacher, and a Parent Teacher Association (PTA). Each school charges a fee to attend every term; the basic school’s charging a higher fee than the community schools. The fees range between 10 kwacha to 50 kwacha per student per term, depending on the school.
The Lubilo Health Centre (LHC) serves as the main health facility for the entire catchment area. Out-Patient Services are provided weekdays, both morning (8am-12pm) and afternoon (1pm-5pm), Saturday mornings (8am-12pm) and Sundays on an emergency basis. Under 5 Clinic is held on Tuesday mornings, where immunizations and weight monitoring is done for children under 5 years old. Family Planning clinic is held on Wednesday mornings, providing family planning methods for both men and women, including condoms, birth control pills, injections, and implants. Antenatal Clinic is held on Thursday mornings, where expecting mothers are seen and treated appropriately. All morning clinics have Health Education sessions incorporated at the beginning of each day. In fact, if a patient arrives after the Health Education session has finished, they are instructed to come back the next week. Health Education sessions are an integral and serious part of morning clinics, and the staff treat them as such. Other services offered at LHC include a maternity ward for new births, HIV testing and counseling, Malaria testing and treatment, and a pharmaceutical dispensary. Outreach services are conducted every week to reach those villagers who have transportation issues or simply live too far from the clinic. A new Health Post has recently been built in Yamakwakwa, the farthest catchment zone from LHC. This Health Post will serve as a satellite site, where Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Community Based Distributors (CBDs) can help with Health Education, some diagnoses, and some distribution of certain family planning methods and medicine. Other Health Posts in other zones are currently being proposed. The hope is that these Health Posts will help LHC improve access to health care for the catchment, as well as reduce congestion at the clinic itself. In addition, every zone has a Neighborhood Health Committee (NHC), local leadership in each zone that works with the LHC to ensure all villagers within their respective zones are healthy.