Alexandria’s Story

One-year old Alexandria Katontoka from Fitebo in the Serenje District of Zambia fell sick on 13 December 2017 at around 10 in the morning.

He stopped playing with his friend and fell asleep near the doorway of his house. While picking up her, seemingly, sleepy son, Sharon Musonda realised his body temperature was very high. Worried she immediately set off to see the Community Health Volunteer, Charity Mumba. With a rapid diagnostic test confirming Alexandria had malaria he was given an antimalarial (artmether-lumefantrine) and paracetamol and taken home.

At around 3pm Alexandria’s big brother came running to Charity’s home in tears. He said that Alexandria had died, and he had been sent to call her. Charity ran into her house to pick up her test kits and Rectal Artesunate Suppository (RAS). When she arrived, Alexandria was lying on a blanket on the floor with his eyes closed. Mum, Sharon explained that he had started vomiting severely and had been fitting.

Charity immediately administered RAS and advised for preparations to be made to go to hospital. Just 5 minutes later, Alexandria opened his eyes and started to cry. Charity’s husband then called for a bicycle ambulance, which transferred Sharon and Alexandria to the local health facility, a journey that took over two hours.

On arrival at the facility, Alexandria was given three courses of Injectable Artesunate and the following day could be discharged and taken home. Although it took almost a week for him to walk properly, he has now fully recovered and RAS has given Alexandria a second chance at life.


International development organisation Transaid has appointed Caroline Barber, 37, to take over as Chief Executive with effect from 1 August 2017. She will replace Gary Forster, 35 who is stepping down after 11 years, including the last six as Chief Executive.

Caroline first became involved with Transaid whilst on secondment as a Project Manager for Wincanton. She undertook four overseas visits for Transaid between 2005 and 2008, helping to share best practice from the private sector with key programmes in post-Tsunami Sri Lanka and Ghana.

In 2008, she joined Transaid full-time, initially as Country Programme Manager in Zambia, where she led a project to develop the capacity and capability of the Industrial Training Centre in Lusaka. Three years later, in 2011, she was promoted to Head of Programmes with direct responsibility for managing a portfolio of projects in sub-Saharan Africa – primarily focused around rural transport, transport management for health fleets, and professional driver training in the commercial vehicle, passenger transport and materials handling sectors.

Commenting on her appointment, Caroline says: “In my 12-year engagement with Transaid I have developed a strong technical understanding of the many issues relating to transport and logistics in Africa and I’m excited about the opportunity to lead a fantastic team which is deeply committed to the people Transaid exists to support.

“I am incredibly lucky to be taking over an organisation which enjoys unprecedented levels of industry backing, and which has proven to be an essential ingredient in our success. Today our projects are transforming lives daily and attracting significant attention from international donors.”

Commenting on the appointment, Jo Godsmark, Chair of Transaid, says: “Gary’s hard work has transformed Transaid into a very strong organisation, which has the systems, processes and people in place to deliver enormous impact. We wish him every success for the future.

“We are extremely fortunate that in Caroline we have the ideal person to lead Transaid as we approach our 20th anniversary next year. She brings the ideal blend of experience, having spent time in the field and managed our entire project portfolio. Plus, Caroline enjoys excellent relationships with our member base and within the development sector.”

Gary joined Transaid as a volunteer from Procter & Gamble in 2006 and spent his first two years in Zambia, followed by two years in Northern Nigeria. He took over as Chief Executive in April 2011 and is stepping down to go travelling, whilst considering his next career move – possibly back into the field, working with the people and organisations making change happen on the frontline.

He says: “I would like to express my gratitude to the UK transport and logistics industry which, through their cycling, fundraising and corporate donations, have changed the lives of tens of thousands of people whom they’ll almost certainly never meet.

“The success we’ve enjoyed has been a true team effort, for which I’d like to thank my colleagues for their dedication, long hours and sheer energy – together with the amazing support from our partners across Africa.”

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