It’s Week 5 of our staff highlights, and this week we we’re highlighting our resident German, Silvia Renn! Silvia came to Akros with extensive experience working with Zambia's Ministry of Health. Her ability to remain attuned to the MOH has propelled the HMIS and Systems for Better Health (SBH) programs forward rapidly in an organized and practical manner (efficiently, pleasantly ... German). Our staffers that work with Silvia say that she’ll always surprise you with her sense of humor, warmth, and caring attitude towards those she manages. Some random things that Silvia loves: Pastries, her family, building everything from lego helicopters to recycled tire play centers with her sons, Akon, and dance parties - not necessarily in that order :)
It’s week 4 highlighting some of our smart, talented Akros staff members! This week we’re introducing you to Ilenga Nkhata, our SLTS Program Manager. Ilenga takes care of EMIS and our trachoma elimination work with DFID SAFE and Sightsavers. She also happens to be a makeup artist! She is a great team leader and helps create new program ideas, but sometimes she would much rather wield a 20-hue palette of blush than an excel spreadsheet. There are few bad days as far as Ilenga is concerned, but when you thought you were done with finance and then learn two more reports are due … 😬
Out staff member highlight for this week is our very own Derek Pollard! Derek is our IRS Program Manager and HMIS Advisor. If you ever want to talk about spraying operations (protecting homes against the mosquitoes that carry malaria) and making them more efficient, you can count on him to fill your ear … for a while. He’s pretty excited about it. We also call Derek the social butterfly of Lusaka. If there’s an event happening around town, a bike race up in Mulungushi, or a pickup rugby match, you can expect Derek to be there.
As we continue highlighting some of our great Akros staffers, we need to tell you about Frazer Bwalya. Frazer is a GIS Technician, and our all around mapping guy. He spends time out in small towns around Zambia “walking through” villages digitally in Google Earth with Community Health Workers, showing them satellite imagery of their villages - often for the first time - so that they can map their surroundings and make them more accessible from the national level. Frazer smiles. A lot. He’s the kind of guy you would want to unwind and play a board game with at the end of a long, hot day of mapping.
A resident of Lwimba Ward in Zambia’s Chongwe District shows an Akros Surveillance Officer, Lawrence Owaga, her newly-built latrine. This latrine meets all of the requirements for adequate sanitation: (1) A privacy structure, (2) a smooth cleanable floor, (3) a lid, and (4) a hand washing area - here she is using a tippy tap. In partnership with @unicefzambia and the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, Akros created an innovative community surveillance system that tracks the number of residents with access to proper sanitation. Using a basic feature phone, a local community volunteer will track improved latrines just like this one. This information is then available in real-time through a web-based platform, thereby allowing the Zambian Government and local stakeholders to make data-driven decisions about the health and well-being of the population.