The recent construction of a maternity ward at a health clinic established by Abercrombie & Kent in Nakatindi Village, Zambia is a further sign of the company’s commitment to support the region.
The new unit addresses a desperate need for antenatal care in Zambia which is among the top 25 countries in the world with the highest numbers of pregnant women living with HIV.
Only 19% of women will report to a health facility for antenatal care within their first trimester. That makes early diagnoses of HIV within a pregnancy more difficult and increases transmission rates of the virus from mother-to-child.
Currently less than 47% of women are delivering their babies at a health facility with a skilled health worker present with just 39% of women receiving a post-natal check-up from a health professional.
Managing director Asia Pacific Sujata Rahman highlighted the company’s hopes that the project would transform maternal health within the community.
It will also help the company cater to growing demand for responsible practices from travellers. A&K has established a dedicated Philanthropy arm which works to positively impact lives and livelihoods in the communities where its guests travel with projects like this.
It is 100% funded by A&K globally with a donation made to AKP on behalf of every guest travelling.
“Consumers are demanding responsible practices and their choice of travel provider will often be dictated by this. We know that our guests want to give back and so we encourage visits to AKP projects when they travel with us,” Rahman told KarryOn.
“Our guests visiting the Victoria Falls area are encouraged to visit the clinic which has become the beating heart of the village and meet the staff who work there providing life-saving healthcare.”
“In addition, staff in A&K’s offices around the world donate their time and labour to getting projects up and running,” she said.
Other projects include AKP’s Bike Shop Program which empowers local communities through mobility.
“Health care workers can see more patients, students can make the journey to school, middle- to low-income workers can get to work in an affordable manner, and families can carry more goods to and from home,” Rahman explained.
The program now operates in Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania and most recently Jordan.
Then there are AKP’s efforts to ensure the survival of leopards in Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park.
There, conflict between leopards and local communities has put the animal in peril.
“Livestock can be an easy meal for the big cats and and cattle farmers are apt to retaliate when their animals are taken,” Rahman said.
As a result, AKP is constructing steel enclosures to protect cattle at night – a measure which has so far proved “extremely successful”, according to Rahman.
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