There is always an individual isn't there, beavering away in a corner, from whom you hear very little, about whom you hear very little. Perhaps even, about whom you know very little...
Until it's time for them to go. Then suddenly you're put on edge and you wonder how things will keep going without them. They worked so quietly and efficiently you forgot how important they were. They filled a very special niche and now there is a void. Well this last happened to us last week. The individual in question was Hudson Kwamdera, the quality control technician for the I-2 Newcastle disease vaccine production unit.
Producing vaccine is a tricky business. It's unforgiving - one small flaw and you have to throw out a whole batch. For many years, Hudson has been making sure each batch is up to scratch. He's been doing that since 2003 and told us he loves it. He loves the people he works with, not only at the laboratory bench but also in the field. He knows the I-2 vaccine backwards and he understands how much good it does in rural communities. He told us how much he appreciates the work of partner NGOs like Inter-Aide, SSLLP and Land O'Lakes who have established vaccination programs based on I-2.
Hudson was involved with I-2 right from the outset and his imprint is still very much in the minds of people like Mary Young who did so much to ensure successful establishment of the vaccine production unit in Lilongwe. He played a key role in some of the training programs for vaccine technicians in the early days.
Along with Mary and others at the Kyeema Foundation, we at RPC are keen to acknowledge the valuable contribution Hudson has made to the I-2 vaccination program in Malawi. We wish him a long and happy retirement. We extend our well wishes also to Kumbukani Zinyao who has been Hudson's understudy for quite a while now and will continue Hudson's important work.
14 October 2016