Published: 13 August 2010
A trip to the only children’s hospital in Zambia, Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital (ADH) in Ndola, was a sobering start to the day. The executive director, Dr. Sam Phiri, granted us a few rare minutes to explain the intense need for support on many fronts: medical equipment, better training for staff, relief staff, education, etc. He outlined the ten most prominent diseases/conditions affecting the kids accepted by the hospital – malnutrition, meningitis, malaria and HIV among them. Dr. Phiri opened the boxes of donated surgical kits we brought to the hospital and in an interview for our short documentary, opened his heart about the strangers a world away who make sick children a priority. He was kind and quick to the point. We were very thankful he allowed us access to the hallways lined with rooms full of sick little ones whose troubled parents seemed to ache for their stories to be told. We were welcomed in small spaces where small groups of women sat together. They stared into our cameras as they held their sick, sometimes dying sons and daughters, a tender situation to be sure. I’m not sure you ever forget something like this.
The goal was to document the vulnerability here and present what Northrise hopes to contribute to future health-care needs of Ndola. Northrise serves ADH as a mission and provides supplies as often as possible. Currently, university land is set aside and hope planted for a student health-care clinic to be up and running by summer 2011. The facility will serve students, staff and the immediate families of those employees – roughly 1200 people. The project is still in the fundraising phase, another 80 thousand dollars is needed to break ground on the building. University founder Moffat Zimba told Dr. Phiri about his ambition and the two spoke about some technicalities of the idea, and agreed that education is critical.
In our few hours at ADH it became clear just how critical the health situation is…
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