Monday, 30 April 2018

Knowledge Broker Champion Workshop

Thanks to our Scottish Government sponsored emergency care project, some of southern Africa's leading medical librarians and information scientist met in Lusaka for a 3-day Knowledge Broker Champion workshop (17th to 19th April). 

A Knowledge Broker (KB), in this context, is an intermediary who supports healthcare workers to find, share, and apply knowledge for the purpose of strengthening frontline emergency care decision-making.  

Workshop participants included 4 librarians and information scientists from across Zambia, including the new Information Officer from Chitambo Hospital, and 3 medical librarians from across Zimbabwe (2 from Harare in the north; 1 from Bulawayo in the south). 

This course aims to spread the KB network nationally and regionally, within Zambia and Zimbabwe.  The course design was a joint endeavour by South African partners within Information and Training Outreach Organisation for Africa (ITOCA), and at UNZA Medical Library.  They were mentored in this work by the Programme Manager for Knowledge and Decision Support, Scottish Government.  The ITOCA and UNZA partners contributed to developing the detailed workbook which forms the basis of the face to face training and comprises online content and interactive exercises.  These partners also delivered the face-to face training in Lusaka. 

This is being  followed by a 16-week online learning course divided into 4 modules.  Self directed learning will be supported by virtual discussion through a WhatsApp Knowledge Broker Network and monthly meetings via the Gotomeeting platform.  Participants will apply the learning from the face-to-face training and online training in 3 short workbased projects where they develop their KB roles in their own organisations.

Early course evaluations (19/04/17), by KB Champion WhatsApp Network included: 
 “Very productive...I liked the module on systematic reviews.  I gained a lot from colleagues.  It debunked some cloudy areas I had.”  (Medical Librarian, Zimbabwe) 
 “We really learned a lot from each other.  We just hope to implement the knowledge gained to our institutions..” (Medical Librarian, Zambia)

Hullo  to our course leaders!

Friends form Zimbabwe arrive

A place to call home for 3 days

Hard at work

Farewell Team Zimbabwe!

Farewell esteemed leader from South Africa!

Remembering Janet

A small group of 'Friends' gathered at the Beetroot cafe, Bonnyrigg, Midlothian Scotland for lunch. This was to commemorate our Honorary President, Janet Knox, who died a year ago. The Beetroot was one of her favourite places and we have many happy memories of gatherings there.
The plan was to plant a small commemorative plaque beside the azaelea bush we had given to Janets husband, George, in her memory. However the unseasonal snowstorm put paid to that. Some say it was Janets michivieous sense of humour playing with us!
We were stunned by another very generous donation from George and family. They continue to be our staunch supporters, helping with the work at Chitambo and keeping Janets legacy alive. Heartfelt thanks to them for that.

Janet's wee plaque

Janet's idea of a joke?!

Happy gathering 1

Happy gathering 2

Book delivery

Life's angels are at it again! FOCH Trustee, Consider Mudenda, met up with Karen Edwards, Country Director for Vision Aid Zambia, to collect the medical text books requested by the Chitambo Hospital health team. Despite being heavily overladen, Karen carried these 4 books all the way from Edinburgh, Scotland, to Zambia, in her excess baggage. She has even added another nutrition book of her own. All these books will soon be at Chitambo along with 6 requested Merck Manuals donated by the University of Zambia. Thank you very much to Consider, Karen and Mrs. Mwafulilwa, Head Medical Librarian at UNZA, for all your help with this. You are making such a difference.

Book hand over

Books arrive in Zambia