Saturday, 25 April 2015

Mr. Mwelwa Reports

Mr. Chola Mwelwa is back in the UK after his visit to Zambia, including to his home village of Chitambo where he held a very successful meeting with our partners there, Dr. Mmamulatelo Siame; Mr. Levi Chifwaila, Reverend Banda, and Mr. Kasoka, Principal Tutor (pictured):

Left  to Right: Mr. Chola Mwelwa; Mr. Levi Chifwaila; Dr. Mmamulatelo Siame; Mr. Jonathan Kasoka (with Chitambo School of Nursing in the background)

Mr. Mwelwa is drafting a short report on the visit. However, in brief, he was generously hosted by Dr. Siame and Mr. Chifwaila. They made time to discuss FoCh business, including both the Small Grant project and the Nurse Training Scholarships; showed Mr. Mwelwa over the hospital and School of Nursing; and given hospitality at mr. Chifwiala's home.

Mr. Mwelwa was very impressed with developments at Chitambo, including the Nursing School buildings and new tutor housing.

Small Grant Project discussions:

The aims of the project were outlined and the logistics of establishing a resource centre at the hospital for first aid advice on common emergencies. The team looked at potential sites, in the hospital, including the nurses' duty room off Labour Ward (pictured).
Mr. Mwelwa inspects the potential Emergency Care Resource Centre at Chtambo Hospital
This is rather cramped. However, it houses the hospital’s 2-way radio system and may also be appropriate because, as Mr. Chifwaila says:
That is where nurses stay at night and there is almost always someone (there) at any given time.  Therefore if all nurses are oriented and put one on call each day, just to answer calls and give advice, maybe be more feasible.”

He adds that this needs brainstorming and that is what we will be doing when he comes to Scotland, on project business, in June 2015.
Apparently Dr. Siame suggested the doctors' office as a possible alternative, adding that she is generally far too busy to sit in an office. Indeed, as Mr. Mwelwa explained, Dr. Siame had left a long queue of outpatients in order to join the meeting. Afterwards the queue was even longer. This is a salutary insight. Whatever we jointly attempt should probably be very modest in order not to overload an already severely stretched service.

Mr. Mwelwa also observed that much would depend on gaining community 'buy-in' to the proposed emergency care advice centre and mobile phone 'hotline'. He suggested that this could best be done through using senior community members, whom he knows, to act as go-betweens between the health service and the community. This would both help to ensure that people understood the purpose of the advisory service and contribute to greater transparency about what was on offer.

Nurse Training Scholarships

Mr. Mwelwa met 'our' first two students and obtained very touching thank you statements from them, for the support which FoCh has provided.  Extracts of these could possibly be used for fundraising purposes. What do you think?

Meantime, a huge Mwabombeni Mukwia (well done!) to Mr. Mwelwa, and the Chitambo Team, for this historic meeting. You are all amazing and are definitely creating Chitambo's future  history!

More on this unfolding story soon.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Historic meeting

Mr. Mwelwa, I presume?

These words echo the historic meeting between Dr. David Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley, shortly before Livingsotne died at Chief Chitambo's village, some 70 miles north of the current Chitambo Hospital.

They may not be the exact words uttered by our Chitambo partners when our Chesterfield-based Trustee Mr.Chola Mwelwa arrived home at Chitambo and sought a meeting with them. Mr. Mwelwa is a ciLala gentleman, from Chitambo village, making him the perfect go-between on Friends of Chitambo and Small Grant business.

An email from Dr. Mmamalutelo Siame, Senior Resident Medical Officer, confirmed that Mr. Mwelwa had arrived safely and that a meeting had been arranged. Mr. Mwelwa had gone armed with a long list of discussion points and had also offered to take many photographs. He is a very keen photographer.

A later text message from Levi Chifwaila confirmed that the meeting had been a great success. We all look forward to hearing the details.

First aid for snake bite?

We are delighted that Zambian born Dr. Jim Bond has joined the steering group of our Scottish Government-funded project on 'Strengthening emergency care communications between Chitambo Hospital and its Rural health Clinics'. Hi medical expertise, including in emergency care provision in remote, rural Mozambique and Tanzania, will be a major asset.

Dr. Bond is from Mporokoso, Northern Province, Zambia, where his father was District Commissioner before and after Zambian independence. He knows the environment very well, including the type of snakes to be found there, and is interested in developing some area specific guidance on first-aid management of snakebite

This could fit well with the Knowledge Brokering aspect of our project, which will involve knowledge and information scientists working closely with Chitambo clinicians to translate quality knowledge into practical, frontline action for improvement of emergency healthcare. Improved management of snakebite could certainly save lives, don't you think?

A growing Zambian 'Friends of' Movement?

Levi Chifwaila, Senior Nurse Tutor, Chitambo School of Nursing, was amazed, when visiting Chilonga Hospital/School of Nursing (about 200 miles north of Chitambo), to discover that they also have a Friends of Chilonga link! We do not yet know full details but look forward to hearing more when Levi visits Scotland in June 2015.

This follows on from a recent posting on the Healthcare Information for All (HIFA)-Zambia network (HIFA-Zambia) about a Friends of Monze: Friends of Monze.  Monze is a town in Southern Province, Zambia.

Freinds of Monzehas a common 'kitchen table' ancestry to Friends of Chitambo, which originally started with 4 Scottish Mayos (mothers) sitting around the kitchen table drinking tea and planning how to link with, and support, partners at Chitambo.

Our Committee has now blossomed with essential new blood including experts in health, emergency care, strategic planning, international development, finance, fundraising, and much more!

We are indeed blessed.

NHSScotland Event 2015: Poster Display

Good news! Our conference abstract has, for the 3rd year running, been selected for poster display at Scotland's annual government health conference:NHSScotland Event 2015

This conference takes place on 23rd and 24th June 2015, at the Scottish Exhibition Conference Centre (SECC), Glasgow.

Only 234 out of over 500 submitted abstracts were selected for display and ours is one of them! You can read it here: Poster Abstract
Even better news, 2 Zambian partners, Mr. Levi Chifwaila, Senior Nurse Tutor, Chitambo School of Nursing, and Mr. Consider Mudenda, Director, Zambian Research and Development Technology Academy (ZRDTA), will be in Scotland at the time of the conference and able to co-present the poster and learn all about Scotland's healthcare achievements and challenges.

Levi and Consider are coming to Scotland on Scottish Government Small Grant Project business. Our project concerns 'Strengthening emergency are communications between Chitambo Hospital, Zambia, and its outreach clinics'. Visiting Scottish emergency care facilities will provide rich opportunities for information exchange and learning to inform establishment of an emergency care resource hub at Chitambo Hospital, linked to Rural Health Clinics by mobile phone hotline. Watch this space!

Friday, 10 April 2015

Grant to help the vulnerable

To our surprise and delight, Friends of Chitambo's recent Scottish Government Small Grant award received a mention in a local Scottish newspaper, the Midlothian Advertiser. Please see the following link:Midlothian Advertiser article

We are already steaming ahead with the project, with 2 UK visa applications submitted for Zambian partners to travel to Scotland in June 2015 for project planning and consultation; and much networking on the Healthcare Information for All (HIFA) and mhealth networks regarding emergency care and technical developments, including firstaid refresher training for resource centre nurses and setting up of the proposed emergency care resource centre itself.

Here are a Chitambo partners' thoughts on this:

"The training could be good. Though I thought we should modify it to suit our environment. Just a refresher course can do as the nurse already learnt first aid during training.

And I was thinking we can use a duty room cos that is where nurse stay at night and there is almost always someone at any given time.

Therefore if all nurses are oriented and put one on call each day just to answer calls and give advice maybe be more feasible what do you think or maybe we can brainstorm it.”
There will indeed be much brainstorming in June, when we put our joint heads together.  The good news is that, at a recent Chitambo District health meeting, the need to improve communication between hospital and community was a top priority and the community was excited to hear about our proposed project.