Thursday, 12 July 2018

Board recruitment drive

FoCH is delighted to report that our numbers are growing. We have several very talented new Board members on board at the UK end and several more potential ones, including a young lady who is from Chitambo and now lives in England. She is keen to join us and help to give back to her home community. This brings our Zambian Diaspora membership to 6, 5 of whom are from Central Province and 4 from Chitambo. They are a great asset and bridge between our cultures and communities.

We are holding a Social and Information Event on 21st July, to bring these different members together for strategic planning. The social aspect will be a Zambian-style lunch, with networking.  Would you believe that Head Chef, Steve, at Haigs Restaurant, Penicuik, has Zambian connections and knows about Zambia's staple food, nshima?!  We have now passed the responsibility for making the lunch entirely to him and he has offered us a stunningly modest price (£100 for a massive buffet lunch for 20 people).  We will ensure that Haigs gets real publicity and thanks for this generous gesture.  We are hoping that one of our prospective new Board members, who is a keen amateur photographer, will take some photos for submission to local newspapers and posting on our social media sites.  

A major component of the Information session, Chaired by Gillia Wilson, an expert International Development Consultant, will be a WhatsApp link with our Zambian Trustees, so they can inspire UK members on what has been achieved at Chitambo and how they can help.   Consider Mudenda and Levi Chifwaila will connect by BTMeetMe telephone conference,   A dry run at the Haigs venue proved successful and we very much look forward to the live connection on the day. 

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

FoCH Board recruitment

FoCH is delighted to report that our numbers are growing. We have several very talented new Board members on board at the UK end and several more potential ones in the pipeline. We are holding a Social and Information event in July, to bring these different members together for strategic planning. The social aspect will be a Scottish/Zambian-style lunch so nshima-making practice is in order! Wish us luck and please send hints if you know how!

A major component of the Information session, Chaired by an expert International Development Consultant, will be a WhatsApp link with our Zambian Trustees, so they can inspire UK members on what has been achieved at Chitambo and how they can help. 

We are also privileged to have had recent contact from a young lady who is from Chitambo and now lives in England. She is keen to join us and help to give back to her home community. This brings our Zambian Diaspora membership to 6, 5 of whom are from Central Province and 4 from Chitambo. They are a great asset and bridge between our cultures and communities.


Watch this space for photos from the event.

Scottish Global Health Citizenship Initiative

Friends of Chitambo is proud to say that Chitambo had a
presence at the launch of the Scottish Global Health Citizenship initiative at the NHS Scotland Event, an annual Scottish health conference (Tuesday 19th June): Click here for information 
It was great to have the ear of so many high profile, influential people. 

2 FoCH trustees have signed up as Global Health Champions, to encourage Scottish health workers to consider volunteering at home and abroad. Lots of wonderful networking and thanks to Scottish Government for the opportunities


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Dr. Alasdair Allan, Minister for International Development (centre), with other VIPs




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University of Zambia donation

Huge thanks to Lead Medical Librarians at the University of Zambia (UNZA), for a pile of Merck Statistical Manuals. What a generous gesture. These are much prized by Chitambo health staff and will make a real difference. As they say, with friends like these, Chitambo is blessed.



Done and dusted!

It's been quite a journey but thanks to mutual team working efforts and global health networks, the wheelchair gifted by FoCH Trustee Mr. Chola Mwelwa and transported to Zambia by  Sheffield medical student, Yun Xin Koh, has arrived at Chitambo.  It travelled along with FoCH's donation of requested office equipment which consists of a photocopier/scanner; associated toners; data projector; and wifi enablers.  These were sourced in Lusaka by FoCH Trustee Mr. Consider Mudenda, who also intercepted the wheelchair at Lusaka airport and passed all the items to a driver for transport to Serenje, near Chitambo.  From there, they were collected in the Chitambo Centenary ambulance (pictured) for the last lap to Chitambo.

Thank you to Chitambo colleagues for their nice thank you message:

 "It's done and dusted the equipments are in and thumbs up to FoCH for the timeless efforts, love and support they have been showing us since time immemorial."

This was a joint effort resulting from strategic planning  at Chitambo Hospital, in February 2018. It's wonderful to see a plan coming together and our joint planning  bearing fruits.



Yun Xin hands over the wheelchair to Consider at Lusaka airport

Chitambo CMO, Dr. Mwamba, inspects the office equipment at Consider's home in Lusaka

Data projector

Photocopier/Scanner and other equipment


Wifi enablers





Items ready for off to Serneje

Chitambo Centenary Ambulance collects the items from Serenje
Arrival at Chitambo
Requested office equipment 




















Wednesday, 6 June 2018

2 fundraising talks

A HUGE thanks go to 2 speakers for their amazing support:
1. Mr. Callum Christie, author of 'Goodbye Colonialism, Farewell Feudalism' donated all proceeds from his recent talk to the Penicuik U3A club (book sales and donations) to Friends of Chitambo. He has also offered further support since. We thank you for your immense generosity Callum. It is making a difference.
Details of Callum's book:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Goodbye-Colonialism-Farewell-Feudalism-Barotseland/dp/1526202352
2. New Zealand medical doctor, Marion Taylor took timeout of her hectic European tour to speak on our behalf (Saturday 19th May 2018, St. James Church Hall, Penicuik, Scotland). Marion, author of 'Livingstone's Hospital, the story of Chitambo', talked on 'Dr. David Livingstone..an unlikely hero?'....the character of the man.
The talk was followed by a sumptuous afternoon tea and particular thank you to Friends of Chitambo (FoCH) Trustees, Margaret and Gillian, Marion M from St James congregation, and FoCH member, Ed, for helping with this. Thank you too, to St. James Church for hosting and supporting the event and to all those who participated and gave generously in support of Chitambo. THANK YOU, you really do make a difference.
We were particularly honoured to have 5 members of the Moffat family present at the event. They are direct descendants of Livingstone's wife Mary's family and it was their ancestor, Malcolm Moffat, who founded Chitambo Hospital in 1908. Fitting that they won all the raffle prizes including the basketwork tray from the roadside at Serenje!



Dr. Marion Taylor (R) with organising team


Setting up for the tea

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Books delivered

Mission accomplished! Medical textbooks requested by Chitambo Hospital colleagues have come full circle. In February 2018 some departments at Chitambo Hospital (laboratory and radiography) reported the need for books on Sonography and Parasitology. Friends of Chitambo purchased these from Health Books International in the UK. They were taken to Zambia by a contact from Vision Aid Zambia, transported to Chitambo by a member of the hospital team and are now in safekeeping of Matron. Thanks to all who helped to make this happen.


Book handover


Books in Matron's safe keeping

Monitoring and recording book usage
Matron with books




International Nurses Day (12th May 2018)




Chitambo students were amongst those contributing to the Nurses' day celebrations at Kapiri Mposhi, Central Province.

Chitambo students
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Solar power

Fantastic news! The new solar power installations are completed at Chitambo Hospital and its 2 remotest 'hard to reach' rural health clinics (Gibson and Chipundu).

At Chitambo Hospital, the panels have been placed on the roof of the hospital laboratory. They will provide vital backup during all too frequent power outages.

Sincerest thanks to Scottish Government for funding this life saving initiative and to First Aid Africa for driving it through in collaboration with our local FoCH Project Coordinator.....and of course the Chitambo team who proposed the need in the first place.
Panels on Chitambo Hospital lab roof

Batteries

National Health Week (7-11th May 2018)

The Chitambo Hospital team was out and about in the community promoting health and also setting a good example by participating in healthy activities themselves.

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Chitambo health team setting good examples (See below too)






Wheelchair sagas


Thanks to amazing teamwork and wonderful connections a wheelchair is on its way to Chitambo Hospital physiotherapy department.
Sheffield medical student and founder of the new charity MedAid Sheffield, Yun Xin Koh, left for Zambia on Saturday 1st June, with it in her extra baggage allowance. She is heading off on her Medical Elective in Zambia.
Top Sheffield eye surgeon/medical trainer, Dr Zanna Currie (who grew up at Chitambo) linked us with Yun Xin, who is her student.
Chitambo man/Friends of Chitambo (FoCH) Trustee, Mr Chola Mwelwa, lives in the Sheffield area, where he manages a Nursing Home. He obtained a batch of perfectly serviceable wheelchairs which would otherwise be scrapped, and saw the value of these for Chitambo.
Zambian FoCH Trustee, Mr Consider Mudenda, met Yun Xin's flight and collected the wheelchair from her, for onward transport to Chitambo, along with a consignment of office equipment donated by FoCH.  
Yun Xin also gave us 4 recent copies of the British National Formularies (BNF), for donation to Chitambo. We hope to find a way of transporting these and more wheelchairs to Chitambo as soon as possible.
Thanks to all who have helped us to make a good start on this initiative and, in particular, to Mr. Chola Mwelwa who initiated this venture.



Mr. Chola Mwelwa, with his consignment of wheelchairs

With Mwelwa family and friends

Chola with medical student Yin Xin


Yin Xin delivers the wheel chair to Consider Mudena at Lusaka airport

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

2 fabulous fundraising talks

In or around Edinburgh, Scotland this May? We have 2 fabulous fundraising talks. The first, by Mr. Callum Christie, author of 'Goodbye Colonialism, Farewell Feudalism' is on Thursday 17th May, 2-4pm at the Penicuik Townhall. Details here: https://u3asites.org.uk/penicuik/events
 It charts the history of the Barotseland in the run up to Zambian independence.  Mr. Christie has very kindly offered to pass any proceeds from his book sales to Friends of Chitambo. Heartfelt thanks to him for that.
The second talk, on Saturday 19th May, 2-4pm, at St. James the Less Episcopal Church, Penicuik, is by Dr. Marion Taylor, author of 'Livingstone's Hospital the Story of Chitambo'. She will be talking about Livingstone's character and the fact that, for such a famous man, he actually failed at most things he did! Please see this link for details: CLICK HERE FOR THE FLIER
Marion is also talking on behalf of Friends of Chitambo and we thank her very much too.

Please come and support us if you can!

Road accidents

More reasons for supporting emergency care improvements in Zambia, and in Chitambo District...recent bus accidents. Although thankfully not in Chitambo District, they are all too common. One bus was headed to Johannesburg, South Africa, and crashed south of Lusaka. The other, in Northern Province, was said to have careered off the road due to the driver speeding. In both cases, there seemed to be an organised response, with lists of passengers posted up at the scene, to help people check if their relatives were involved.

But how good if the 992 freetoll number (shortcode for health) could be implemented soon as this would surely help to speed up response times and save lives?











Red ants in medical ward!

All rural hospitals face challenges but this one, at Chitambo Hospital, Zambia, is a bit different from some.  Biting red ants marching up the wall of Medical Ward!

Hospital staff are unphased.  Patients are evacuated to Surgical Ward whilst solutions, including applying diesel, are sought.  However, the Environmental Health Technologist is summoned and soon has the situation under control.  Job done!  All in a day's work!



Red ants in Medical Ward

Scottish Zambian Association (SCOZAA) celebration

Great to meet old friends and new last night at the Scottish Zambia Association (SCOZAA) gathering at the Scottish Parliament. Celebrating SCOZAA's new charity status and Diverse Talents' successful Small Grant award for a project about drama for health education purposes. Well done all!

Zambian National Biomedical Laboratory Professionals Week

22 to 28th April was Zambian National Biomedical Laboratory Professionals Week and the Chitambo team was out and about in the community providing services and raising awareness.
One dedicated team member travelled to far distant Solwezi, North Western Province, to attend the associated Scientific Symposium and present a paper. The Symposium was a joint effort between the Ministry of Health and the Biomedical Society of Zambia. Impressive work everyone!  You are making Chitambo proud!

Chitambo Lab Team out and about in Chitambo District

Grateful community members

Services rendeed
Chitambo delegate

Chitambo delegate's presentation

Conference dinner

Lunch

Networking