Training institution

Meet Peter Chama who operates a health training facility in Zambia

Description of his business

Petcha – Center for Complementary Medicine was registered as a business with PACRA, in 2014 as a trading name, and with the Health Professionals Council of Zambia as a health training institution.

It is registered with the National Council of Science and Technology and the National Health Research Authority as a research and development institution and accredited with City University College of Science and Technology (CUST), as well than from the Ministry of Health of the general hospitals of Kasama, Mansa, Mongu and Choma. as student internship sites.

The school offers a 5-year diploma in naturopathy, a 3-year diploma in clinical medicine and a one-year certificate in community health, and conducts research in indigenous knowledge, traditional, complementary and alternative medicine, procedures and equipment.

Petcha goals include; completion of the registration process with the Regulatory Authority, recruitment of professors and students, Purchase of furniture and equipment, rental of premises. The school has a director, a coordinator(s),

(a) Dean(s), an accounts clerk, a senior lecturer, senior lecturers, a driver and support.

How long have you been running your business:

More than 36 months.

What led him to become an entrepreneur

Unlike Nigeria which had universities in the early 1960s and 1970s, Zambia had only one university and tuition fees were extremely expensive. Due to challenges in the education sector in Zambia at this time, Chama had to think critically about what he really wanted to do with his life, but he remained actively engaged in agricultural pursuits.

Less than 10 years after leaving secondary school, Zambia began to experience reforms in its education sector which saw the establishment of more universities. He was encouraged to pursue university studies where he specialized in biology and chemistry following this reform.

After graduating, he started a self-help ministry/volunteer service in a community school, but was still engaged in agriculture, which today is not only used not only as a means of survival, but also to support the community school which has received little or no support. the government.

He had left community school to teach at a private Christian school before trading across borders (between Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa) in strands of human hair because he had noticed that women n never had enough.

His passion for identifying a problem and solving it had compelled him to take out a loan from micro-credit company ENA to scale the human hair industry to expand its reach across Africa.

He was asked to take a job as an operations and marketing manager at the same company where he took the loan for his business due to his prudent spending and repayment of the loan which caught the attention of the company.

His passion for teaching (first love) led him to resign from the micro-credit company after about a year to land a job as a lecturer and clerk at ZINARE (NGO). A major restructuring in Zambia in 2011 saw the end of many NGOs as the Zambian government got tough on the process of registering/formalizing NGOs they believed were being funded to destabilize the economy.

Undeterred by the fact that he had now gained enough experience to take advantage of it, Chama quit his job and decided to start a business thinking that you don’t need to have millions to start your business. and it also coincided with

the period when the payment of all his benefits from the school where he had taught was paid. This was a major boost for him as he had combined this with his savings to start the Petcha Center for Complementary Medicine Studies as owner and director.


Before the intervention: He had only six employees. After the intervention: He now has a total of fifteen employees.


Before the procedure: He was earning about 50,000 K per year. After the procedure: He now earns around 500,000K per year.

Milestone reached after the intervention:

Opening of three campuses each year for the next three years (3 new campuses were launched from seed capital received from the Tony Elumelu Foundation earlier this year, 2019), the marketing plan now involves radio advertisements and talk shows, Church bulletins and announcements, Posters and flyers, Public address announcements using the public address system, Print media insertions, School promotions and career talks, and attendance at local and regional fairs and forums to present the brand.

Since November 2018 when the seed capital was disbursed, they have undergone staff training in Lusaka before rolling out to three new towns including Choma in Zambia’s Southern Province, Mansa in Luapula Province and Mongu in the Western Province of Zambia.

The great thing is that some of these students had completed their training and have now joined as staff. It was to achieve our vision of one school in every province. The rationale was not to invest all resources in one place which would cause failure if one campus failed, but to spread so that the underperforming campus could be supported by others until full performance is achieved.

Radio advertisements as well as posters, flyers, church bulletins as well as word of mouth were also used to register for the January 2019 certificate course in preparation for the June 2019 diploma course.

The district offices of the Ministry of Health have been engaged as well as the provincial/general hospitals for the signing of memorandums of understanding for the student internship sites in the four new provincial headquarters. To date, a health assistant class (certificate course) is underway in Mansa (7 students) and Choma (1 student) and registrations are ongoing for the diploma course. Registrations are still progressing in Mongu.

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