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.

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