Wednesday, 28 November 2018

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. 

No comments:

Post a Comment