Thursday, 10 August 2017

Emergency radios and shortcode number for health

News just in from the Zambian Flying Doctor Service (ZFDS) is that the 4 Motorola Very High Frequency (VHF) radios which FoCH purchased with Scottish Government funds and private donations have arrived from South Africa.  They are for Chitambo Hospital and 3 'hardest to reach' Rural Health Clinics (RHC) and will be installed during the the week beginning 14th August 2017.

These clinics, in the remote Bangwelu Swamps area..incidentally the area where Scottish 'hero' David Livingstone died...have no mobile phone or internet connectivity and multiple delays in contacting Chitambo Hospital can cost lives.

During the September monitoring and evaluation visit, the project team hopes to be able to assess how these radios are bedding down  and what difference they are making.

Friends of Chitambo (FoCH) is, in communication with local health leads, also sponsoring an emergency shortcode for health.  This will give all Chitambo District citizens and others free mobile phone access to emergency help and advice.

Purchasing a 4-digit number for 1 year costs in the region of £3,000 and FoCH will do this with a very generous donation from the Twigger family in America, who have also contributed to emergency radio purchases.

Purchasing the 4-digit shortcode number is an interim measure until the Zambian Ministry of Health and mobile phone providers manage to launch the free national shortcode number, 992.   Delays are due to needing to include all emergency services (ambulance, fire, and police), some of which are under-developed and will take time to prepare for inclusion in this initiative.

Please see our online donations button if you can help with this life-saving work

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