Saturday, 25 February 2017

New Scottish Global Health Collaborative (SGHC) website

The Scottish Global Health Collaborative is Chaired by Dr. Catherine Calderwood, Chief Medical Officer.  Friends of Chitambo is a member.  The new website is now open:

Please spread the word!

Scotland's Zambia Chapter

The Scottish Government has opened its  Zambia Chapter and will announce a funding round specifically for Central Province on 9th March:

The Zambian government recommended the focus on Central province, where Chitambo District is situated, due to the historic links with Scotland.  Scottish missionary/explorer, David Livingstone died at Chief Chitambo's village in the Bangwelu Swamps and Chitambo Hospital is the living memorial to him.  However, Chitambo Hospital remains shockingly under-resourced.  Scotland now recognises the significance of the historic connection, and hopefully the new focus on Zambia will help towards solving some of Chitambo Hospital's most pressing challenges.  Here is a list provided by the Chitambo District Health Management Team: Click here for a list of the top 10 challenges

They are mostly infrastructure challenges, staff housing, lack of antenatal maternity facilities, the need for hospital renovations.  Until these basic needs are solved, it will be difficult to move forward on other health improvements.

ZUKHWA meeting, Lusaka, Zambia

The Zambia UK Health Workforce Alliance ZUKHWA, is hosted by the Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.   Dr. Liz Grant, Director, and colleague Viki Tayler, are currently in Zambia exploring capacity for partnering on strengthening health professional training and research.

Our Chitambo project partners, Levi and Consider were invited to a meeting of some of Zambia's most senior nurses, at the Intercontinental Hotel, Lusaka.  Here they heard about  plans to develop a model to guide Zambian nursing services, start a mentorship program for trained nurses, and strengthen research processes.   Areas of interest included Education, Leadership, and Research.

Levi and Consider had the opportunity to report on our Scottish Government-funded Small Grant Project on 'Strengthening Emergency Care Communications in Chitambo District' and, by all accounts, they were the usual  superb ambassadors.

Here are Consider's photos from the ZUKHWA meeting:

L to R: Viki Tyler; Dr. Liz Grant

Consider with the ZUKHWA team

Friends of Chitambo Ambassador: Consider 

Meeting participants included some of Zambia's most senior nursing workforce

Click here to see a list of teh top 10 challenges

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Full circle!

Full circle! Ian Nicol, Scottish Government, reported back on his visit to Zambia at the Zambia UK Health Workforce Alliance (ZUKHWA) meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Tuesday 14th February.  This meeting was to discuss the health needs of Zambia and what Scotland can contribute. 

Ian Nicol with ZUKHWA members

The Zambian Government identified Central Province as the priority for investment and development and, after meeting with Consider in Lusaka, Ian travelled north to Kabwe to meet with Central Province leaders.  He learned that the key health priorities included road traffic accidents, trauma services and environmental health (especially disposal of clinical waste): Click here for the Times of Zambia article

Scottish Government will open a Zambia specific funding round on 9th March and this funding will be for projects in Central Province.  The Chitambo community sent their list of top 10 priorities: Click here

These are mostly building infrastructure needs.  The Zambian Government has allocated new staff to the hospital but they cannot take up post due to a lack of staff housing. 

Also, the historic hospital building, founded in 1908 as a memorial to Dr. David Livingstone who died nearby, is in desperate need of renovations.   The hospital was rebuilt in 1953, by Scottish medical missionary, Dr. John Todd.  This building has stood the test of time but  needs modernisation.

r]Rebuilding Chitambo Hospital (1953): Grandsons of Chief Chitambo laying the memorial stone

Memorial stone carved by Dr John Todd reads 'This stone was laid by the Grandsons of Chief Chitambo who welcomed Livingstone in 1873'

Jo met members of Global Emergency Medicine ( at the meeting.  They are working with humanitarian architects, Orkidstudio (, on building a First Level hospital near Mwinilunga in North Western Province.  How wonderful if the same could be done for Chitambo?

Monday, 6 February 2017

Mr. Mudenda I presume?: Historic meeting between Scottish Government and Friends of Chitambo in Zambia

Consider, In-country Coordinator for our Scottish Government Small Grant project on strengthening emergency care communications, hosted a historic meeting in Lusaka today, with Mr. Ian Nicol from Scottish Government. 

Scottish Government is strengthening ties with Zambia and Mr. Nicol took time out of a scheduled visit to Malawi for a first historic visit to Zambia.  As Ian is Small Grant Programme Manager, this provided a valuable opportunity to update him on progress with our emergency care project and outline our hopes and expectations for our new project, should our funding application be successful.

Ian is travelling on to Kabwe today, for other business.  Unfortunately, he will not have time to reach Chitambo as hoped.  However, we hope that Levi will either manage to travel the 200 miles to Kabwe to meet him in person or, if this is impractical, at least talk to him by phone.

Ian and Consider at Prince's Mall, Makeni, Lusaka

Let's shake on it

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Friends of Chitambo's brand new Facebook page

Google Friends of Chitambo-SCIO SC044337 for our brand new Facebook page, created by our Trustee, Catriona.  Spread the word!

Scottish Government's Scotland's New International Developemnt Strategy

Scottish Government is serious about partnering with Zambia, as is apparent in the new International Development Strategy: Click here

A new Scottish Global Health Collaborative (SGHC) is being formed.  This is Chaired by the Catherine Calderwood, Chief Medical Officer and will be a cross-boundary group involving health service, third sector and academic institutions.  Friends of Chitambo SCIO has signed up to join this group.

The Collaborative aims to launch its new website quite soon.

Belated Happy New Year

A very belated Happy New Year!

We have been off to a flying start and January is just a blur!

Here are some updates:
  • Our thoughts remain very much with our Honorary President, Janet, who is gravely ill but comfortable in a community hospital near Edinburgh, Scotland.  She is receiving excellent care, remains very alert, and continues to reminisce about her nursing days at Chitambo. 
  • Chitambo Hospital has a new doctor, from the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 3 new Scottish volunteers are seeking to join FoCh, 2 with high-powered health service backgrounds and 1 with extensive experience of fundraising, catering,events managment, and volunteering in Botswana.  They will be very welcome and some Trustees look forward to meeting them on Saturday 11th March
  • Consider has purchased solar lights, in Lusaka, with Ba Chola's kind donation.  These are for Mpelembe remote and rural health clinic where people were delivering babies by the light of mobile phones.  Hopefully the solar lights will be delivered to Levi when he attends the Zambia UK Health Workforce (ZUKHWA) meeting in Lusaka on 22nd February. 
  • Levi and Consider have been invited to attend the ZUKHWA meeting, which is organised by members of the University of Edinburgh Global Health Academy.  They will be great FoCh representatives there.
  • They will also be meeting Mr. Ian Nicol, Scottish Government Small Grant Manager, on his visit to Zambia (5th to 9th February).  Mr. Nicol will not have time to reach Chitambo but will meet Consider in Lusaka and Levi in Kabwe, as part of Scottish Government's newly launched  Scotland Zambia Programme.
  • Jo's talk to the Penicuik University of the 3rd Age (U3A), on Thursday 19th January, went down well.  The theme was Livingstone's Hospital, the Story of Chitambo.  There was a packed hall and all enjoyed learning a little chiBemba and other audience participation.  We received very kind donations which will contribute to new emergency radios for the 'hard to reach' clinics in Chitambo District. 
  • FoCh Patron, Julie Davidson, attended the U3A talk and gave a short account her book, 'Looking for Mrs. Livingstone', about David Livingstone's wife, Mary.  Julie will give a fuller talk on this, to Penicuik U3A, at a later date.
  • Jo will give a second talk to the Bilston Women's Guild on Tuesday 7th February.   Apparently there is some historical connection between Bilston Parish Church and Chitambo.  Jo will find out more and report back after the event.