by Dr Izukanji Sikazwe
Since I joined CIDRZ in 2013, I am continually amazed by the generosity displayed by CIDRZ employees in their work. I see this in the dedication and selfless service they display in the field and in the office. Our employees are motivated and they see our CIDRZ mission to improve the health outcomes of Zambians by ensuring access to quality healthcare as a personal one. They see a problem and they want to solve it; not just for themselves but for all Zambians.
Marjorie Chileka, our CIDRZ Grants and Contracts Manager, is one such employee. After she experienced difficulty obtaining urgent blood transfusions family members needed due to shortages of blood supply at the Blood Bank, Marjorie thought about how to contribute to correcting the problem.
She did not think only of herself and her family, but of the hundreds, and thousands of Zambians who are at risk of premature death because of scarcity of blood at the blood bank during school breaks. So what did Marjorie do? She took action: she spoke to me and several employees and we joined forces and partnered with the Zambian National Blood Transfusion Service (ZNBTS) to host a blood drive within our premises. On the 31st of January 2014, the blood drive took place at CIDRZ with the ZNBTS Medical Director, Dr Joseph Mulenga, gracing the event. ZNBTS staff was on hand to collect blood as CIDRZ employees, their friends and relatives came in to donate.
One of the donors, Anthony Willombe, a CIDRZ employee, said: “I donate blood because I know that one day I may need it. If not me, then a friend or a family member would need it.” Our employees inspire me.
Corporate social responsibility does not exist in a vacuum. It stems from the worthwhile activities of the people that make up the organisation. Our people at CIDRZ are very responsible and responsive, and they make CIDRZ the same. They care deeply about their work. So together, we at CIDRZ will stand with the Zambian government and our local and international partners to achieve our vision of “a Zambia, and a region, in which all people have access to quality healthcare and enjoy the best possible health, including a life free of AIDS”.
<small></em>Dr Izukanji Sikazwe is CIDRZ Deputy Chief Executive Officer</em></small>