Annie is a beacon of hope in her community. During the most recent cholera outbreak of 2017, she took to the streets, knocking on the door of each household to educate families on how to protect themselves from the deadly waterborne disease.
She recalls, “When cholera started, the community were shocked because it started in a season when it normally doesn’t start.”
“People were scared. Everyone was just really afraid, thinking they could be the next victim of the disease.”
In her street alone, Annie’s tireless work saved many lives.
Annie’s friend Melinda has nothing but praise for Annie’s determination to fight back against this terrible disease:
“They should also send us more volunteers like Annie who can be checking our situation every time because there are a lot of people in this community. The volunteers can even check on the toilets, which some people don’t even have in their homes. So in the night they just dispose of their waste anywhere.
“Maybe if they provide us with essential services like water, we can survive, and our children can live better than us.”
Annie loves her work: “[T]alking about hygiene issues make makes me happy. I love everything about my volunteer work; it’s hard to pick one thing.”
Annie is on a mission to empower and educate her community about the dangers of cholera and how it can be prevented. And she knows she will make a difference.
“Having community health workers does work because we help them as they come to seek advice on what they can do to protect themselves from this disease.”
Annie’s colleague Judith knows that protecting their friends, neighbours and family from deadly cholera requires a long term commitment and constant vigilance.
As she says, “Cholera comes every year, the problem that we have as people is that you can come today to teach me how to prevent myself from getting cholera but if the message goes quiet I can forget.
“So what we want is to continue to educate people so they do not forget to drink clean water.”
With your generous support, we can train more volunteer health workers like Annie and Judith, so they can reach vulnerable families with life-saving hygiene education.
The deadly threat of cholera looms large for families in Zambia who do not have access to safe, clean water. Please donate today to help provide those most at risk with the clean water, hygiene education and sanitation services they so urgently need. Thank you.
Photos: Georgina Goodwin/OxfamAUS
Donate today to help save lives from cholera
Your gift can help provide access to clean water and sanitation for families in Zambia before cholera season hits.