Friday, 21 December 2018

Happy Christmas and New Year

Wishing all our friends and supporters the happiest Christmas and a very good New Year ahead: 
May all your dreams come true.  Click here to let Soweto Gospel Choir bring you some festive  cheer: 

Friends of Chitambo certainly has talent

We are extremely proud of our Zambian Trustee, Mr. Consider Mudenda, who has been selected from a short list of over  60 people to be Country Manager for the Virtual Doctors:
This organisation, marrying health and technology, is the perfect fit for his talents and the job offers him financial security.  He was hardly in the door before e was off on a week long trip to set up tele medicine links at 6 clinics in Malawi.  Being used to working with remote, rural clinics in Chitambo District, he took this in his stride.

There is plenty of scope for collaboration between Virtual Doctors and Friends of Chitambo and Consider is the perfect bridge between us.

Consider joins the Virtual Doctors team

First assignment: Consider with Virtual Doctors in Malawi

At Lake Malawi

Friends of Chitambo are present at the Scottish Government Grant Awareness Day (13th December 2018)

Thank you to Scottish Government for an excellent Grant Awareness day in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Thursday 13th December,
bringing together old friends and new, with much learning and networking. Thank you in particular for a special mention of Chitambo. This was much appreciated. The meeting was opened by the Honorable Scottish Minister for International Affairs, Ben Macpherson.
Good also to meet Dr Kalonde Kasengele, Chair of the Scottish Zambia Partnership (SCOZAP) and Mr Paul Gowens, Head Paramedic, Scottish Ambulance Service, who has just returned from a visit to Zambia, including Chitambo.

Chitambo gets a mention

Bridget listens intently

Donation of surgical face masks for Chitambo Hospital

Heartfelt thanks to Kerry Chalmers, Head of NHS Scotland Global Health Coordination Unit, Scottish Government and Scott Cowan, National Stock Controller, National Blood Transfusion Services Scotland, for facilitating a donation of 30 boxes of surgical face masks for Chitambo Hospital, central Zambia.
These were collected by Jo Vallis, FoCH Chair and Chris Roberts, Trustee, who also benefited from a tour of the state of the art blood transfusion unit where all Scottish blood supplies are processed and latest blood cells research conducted. Thank you Scott. If only Chitambo could benefit from such facilities.
Jo accepts boxes of face masks from Scott

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Consignment of FoCH business cards

Huge thanks to our wonderful Treasurer, Monika Jaros, for obtaining a consignment of 1,000 FoCh business cards at very reasonable cost, whilst home in Poland.  We are most grateful for that.

The cards were created by Helen Davies, Designer, Langarth: CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION

Monika, Treasurer

Our new business cards

Generous donation of books

We were  greatly honoured to have acclaimed author Callum Christie present at the 'Willd Namibia' fundraising event and are profoundly grateful to him for his immense generosity in donating a bag of his books for sale in aid of Chitambo. He signed 3 copies of the book, 'Goodbye colonialism', for delighted recipients and offered the rest for future sales.
Callum has extensive experience of living and working in pre and post colonial Zambia. All his children were born there and he is an ardent supporter of Zambia today, including Friends of Chitambo.

A time of gifts

Yet more good news. Penicuik General Practitioner (GP), Dr. Kathryn Howe, has presented us with a large box of recent British National Formularies (BNFs) for use at Chitambo. These will be transported to Zambia along with a consignment of surgical face masks very kindly donated by National Services Scotland (NSS) via Kerry Chalmers, Head of Scottish Government's NHS Global Citizenship initiative, once we find a means of transport. Thank you all so much. It's like Christmas has come early for Chitambo?!

Dr Kathryn Howe (L), with FoCH Chair, Jo Vallis (R)

Handover of BNFs

Scottish Ambulance Service visits Chitambo

All roads lead to Chitambo! Dr Charles Msiska, Provincial Health Director, and Mr Paul Gowens, Head Consultant Paramedic, Scottish Ambulance Service (pictured), getting on the road to Chitambo (Wednesday 28th November)

Photos courtesy of Dr Charles Msiska, and Miss Buddug Nelson, Wales for Africa. Thank you to them and all our supporters, national and international who's hearts are with us.

Dr Charles Msiska and Mr Paul Gowens on the road to Chitambo

Wild Namibia photo exhibition and lunch

A highly successful fundraising event at Haigs Bar/Restaurant, Penicuik, Scotland (Saturday 24th November). Huge thanks to Paul Vallis for the magnificent photo exhibition:  
Also our inspiring speakers Dr Bridget Innes, Mr Suzgo Ndhlovu, and Ms Mudenda Munkombwe for their great contributions.
Particular thanks to Head Chef Steve Wood for the sumptuous Zambian lunch including nshima (maize meal) with various relishes including ifisashi (peanut sauce) and chicken stew. And, most of all, to therestraunt's Operations Manager, Mr Jack Robinson pictured), for hosting the event and offering to display our photos for sale in the restaurant, in aid of Chitambo. Haigs indeed has heart and we are truly blessed.

Mr Jack Robinson, Operations manager, Haig's Bar/Restaurant, Penicuik, Championing our cause 

Paul Vallis (R)photographer

Lunch and networking

After dinner lectures with framed photos in the background


Richard Vallis (R), ticket collector!

Sale goods

Enjoying lunch and chat

Scottish Zambia Partnership (SCOZAP) AGM

Friends of Chitambo were highly privileged to have a presence at the Scottish Zambia Partnership (SCOZAP) AGM in Edinburgh, Scotland today. Great that Aberdeen Public Health Scientist, Dr Kalonde Kasengele, was voted back in as Chair and that 'new kid on the block', university student Geofrey Njovu stepped up to the plate as Secretary. Congratulations all and th

ank you for the opportunity.

Chitambo students graduate

Congratulations to FoCH sponsored students Lwendo and Mary who graduate on Saturday 10th November, in Kabwe, and to all the other graduates and their dedicated Tutors, including FOCH Trustee Mr Levi Chifwaila, who have nurtured their success. More qualified nurses for Zambia. What a bonus!
We just heard that Lwendo has already received a government job and will be posted to Nakonde, Northern Province.  

Levi Chifwaila leading his flock

Chitambo visit November 2018

Dr Bridget Innes, Friends of Chitambo Trustee and Medical Adviser, flew out to Zambia on Saturday 3rd November and arrived in Lusaka on Sunday 4th. She met up with our In-country Project Coordinator, Mr Consider Mudenda, and they were both on the road to Chitambo on Monday 5th, as part of a whirlwind,week long tour which took in all the 'high heid yins' (Scottish for VIPs!). 
Firstly, they met up with Dr Msiska, Provincial Health Director, in Kabwe, Central Provincial capital.   He  lunched them in style, with many senior local health professionals and arranged for them to meet with Dr Kabwe, Central Province Permanent Secretary for Health, on their return journey.  They were also privileged to be invited to visit the new trauma centre at Kabwe and observe the work of Senior trauma surgeon, Dr Ngoma.

Dr Bridget Innes sets forth for Chitambo!

Reunited with Mr Consider Mudenda, In-country Proejct Co-ordinator

Meeting with Dr Charles Msiska, Provincial Health Director

Add caption

Lunch with Dr Msiska and kabwe hhealth leads

On to Chitambo where they were warmly welcomed by the Dr. Knoziak Chisenga, Chitambo District Health Director (pictured below).  There followed intensive meetings with the hospital team, including discussions about our current emergency care project with Mr. John Munuga, Senior Clinical Officer, and others and a detailed powerpoint presentation by Mr. Brian Mwense, Head Nutritionist, concerning under-5 nutrition priorities: CLICK HERE

Good news that emergency referrals were said to have improved due to the emergency radios and anti-shock garments (Life Wraps) which we have provided.  However many challenges remain including, for example:
  • Intermittent supplies from MOH
  • Inadequate equipment at all levels, emergency care, physiotherapy, radiography, maternal and child health, and nutrition 
  • New health posts have been established, but are not equipped
  • Community health services need to be strengthened
  • Trauma training is needed from community level upwards
Specific equipment priorities include (just a few mentioned): 
  • Sphygomanometeres (blood pressure machines)     
  • Baby scales, length boards, MUAC arm circumference measuring tapes
  • Incubators, fully equipped resuscitation unit, cardiotocograph and foetal Doppler machines for measuring fetal heart and other maternal health functions 
  • Wheelchairs, crutches (all sizes)
  • Ultrasound probe

Meeting with Dr Knoziak Chisenga, Chitambo District Director of Health (centre right in white shirt and tie)

Following the Chitambo Hospital meeting, the tea visited two 'hard to reach' clinics, Chipundu (at the Livingstone Monument) and Mpelembe.  They discovered that the laminated emergency care guidelines created by Dr.Innes, in collaboration with Dr. Mwamba and the team, are in evidence and being used. They are rather dark print-outs. Hopefully subsequent guidelines will look better when produced by the new printer.

Th    The new solar power at Mpelembe is working well, but only supplies maternity and the water supply, so at ni     the rest of the facility is in the darkness, requiring staff to use torches, despite it being ambulance base, 
         and ‘mini-hospital’.   It now has a mothers’ shelter with running water, but no mattresses yet.
         There was tangible sense of frustration among  the well-trained staff , that they are unable to properly 
ski    use their skills due to lack of resources.  

Next the team visited Chitambo District Commissioner, Madam Catherine Kunda, and, after discussion  about FoCH activities, she insisted they visit the newly upgraded David Livingstone Monument site.   There are plans to promote this as a major tourist attraction, involving improving roads, and building a hotel nearby.  The team discussed leaving a batch of FoCH leaflets at the site in the hopes that is might inspire visitors to donate to the welfare of the surrounding district, through our projects.  madam Kunda approved this idea.

Meeting with Madam Catherine Kunda

Madam Kunda at her desk

Visit to Chipundu Rural health clinic and Livingstone Monument

New toilet block at the monument, with flushing toilets!

Exhibition includes models of Livingstone's trusty companions, Suzi and Chuma, finally getting some recognition for their huge part in caring for the dying Livingstone and transporting his remains to be buried in UK (Consider in the middle!)

On the return to Lusaka, the team met some old friends, Matron Delphine Milimo and Matron Hildah Mubanga, at Mkushi (pictured below).

L to R, Matron Milimo, Bridget, Matron Mubanga, Consider

The team then stopped over in Kabwe and caught up with FoCH Trustee, Levi Chifwaila, Senior Nurse Tutor at Kanwe School of Nursing.  Levi is a founder member of Friends of Chitambo and the inspiration behind the reopening of the Chitambo School of Nursing.  Although his teaching duties prevented him from taking part in the official meetings, he was formally introduced to Dr. Msiska as a key local FoCH representative for future reference.

Joyous reunion with Levi

And they were privileged to introduced to Dr. Kabwe, who gave them time to discuss FoCH byu=usiness and concerns.

Meting with Dr. Kabwe, Central province Permanent Secretary for Heath

Back in Lusaka, the team met up with Mr. Sam Abrahams, CEO, First Aid Africa, and arranged for him to later meet up with Dr. Msiska (pictured below).   

Sam Abrahams (R), Dr Msiska, and other Scottish colleagues just arrived in Zambia

All in all, this was a highly successful and inspiring visit, leading to deepening and strengthening of our existing bonds. Congratulations all.