Friday, 16 August 2019


Dear Friends,

We have moved!  

This blog is now archived and we have moved it to our Friends of Chitambo website:

You can continue to keep up with us there and on our Facebook page:

Thank you for your interest in Friends of Chitambo.

Best wishes
Dr. Jo Vallis, Chair, Friends of Chitambo
Registered charity No. SC044337

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Please nominate us for this award!

If you are UK-based, or know anyone who is, please, please nominate us for this £1,000 award!
Deadline Friday 17th May. It only takes a few minutes and will make a big difference to our healthcare work at Chitambo, central Zambia:
We are Friends of Chitambo SCIO, charity registration number SC044337.
Our focus is health, including funding a Telehealth link with the Virtual Doctors; emergency care projects; nurse training scholarships; ambulance maintenance; under 5 nutrition; and maternity care in Chitambo District.
Thanks to the Virtual Doctors for the 'heads up' on this opportunity. We have nominated them and if we are fortunate enough to win one of the £1,000 awards, we will probably put it towards the telehealth link with them.
Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Medical equipment

Good news from EquiCare pharmaceutical company, Lusaka, Zambia.  The medical equipment requested by Chitambo hospital staff (an autoclave and x-ray processor along with other goods) has arrived in the shop and will soon be on route to Chitambo.  This equipment, funded by Scottish Governmemt, via First Aid Africa (FAA), was sourced by FoCH Trustees Mr. Consider Mudenda and Dr. Bridget Innes.  Consider, who is based in Lusaka,  has stayed closely connected with the EquiCare team, including meeting up with them to monitor progress (Pictured below).
Consider (Right) with EquiCare team


FoCH is thrilled to announce that we have received a 3rd round of Scottish Government Small Grant funding for continuing the emergency care response work requested by Chitambo:
Heartfelt thanks to Scottish Government and the Corra Foundation for this ongoing opportunity.

Our Project Initiation meeting (Tuesday 16th April) went smoothly with 9 partners from Zambia, South Africa, Scotland, and America, joining by teleconference.
A particular thanks to Noemi Nyerges-Izso, BT Global Services Manager, and colleagues, who went out of their way to facilliate the teleconferencing links with remote rural Chitambo. THANK YOU!

Now to get down to work!

More valuable donations and developments

Dr. Bridget Innes, FoCH Trustee/Medical Adviser, donated a consignment of child height/length measuring mats; Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) tape measures; and pulse oximetres, for non-invasive monitoring of oxygen levels in the blood.  She delivered these to Chitambo in  March 2019, along with a few BNF drug formularies donated by a Scottish medical practice, and some baby/child clothes (Pictured below).

Dr. Innes is collaborating with Chutambo Head Nutritionist, Mr. Brian Mwense, on developing vegetable gardens to fund nutrition improvements for local villagers.  Fields of cabbages are already flourishing.

Measure mats; MUAC tapes; pulse oximetres

BNFs and baby clothes

Dr. Innes visits the gardens

Emergency care communications network

Fabulous progress has been made on enabling the emergency care communications network in Chitambo District.  The necessary communications infrastructure (radios and masts) is now in place and working well.  Please see this illustrative video, prepared by Dr. Bridget Innes, FoCH Trustee/Medical Adviser, with shots taken by her and FoCH Project Manager Considder Mudenda (March 2019):
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has commissioned Emergency Response Zambia (ERZ) to deliver the necessary Call Handler training to Chitambo frontline emergency care staff. Once done, the 992 shortcode (freetoll) number for health can be fully implemented, giving all Chitambo District community members free phone access to vital emergency care help and advice. There are many people to thank, particularly Scottish Government and First Aid Africa for funding the infrastructure and the Zambian Government for agreeing piloting of the code in Chitambo District, as the first rural district to do so.
However, Consider Mudenda (pictured below) has been the real driving force on the ground and it is largely through his tireless efforts, negotiating with all parties over the last 4 years, that this great initiative is finally succeeding.
Mr Mudenda, you are a real change agent for the greater good. You ask nothing for yourself, only to make a difference for those in need. We commend and salute you!

Consider (Right) with ERZ Operational Leads

Scottish Ambulance Service's book donation

The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) has donated a large consignment of emergency care books to Chitambo, via  Class Professional Publishing.  A massive thanks to Mr Paul Gowens, Head Consultant Paramedic for facilitating this. It will make a huge, life saving difference. Paul was in Zambia when the books arrived by air. Once they cleared customs, they were taken into the safekeeping of First Aid Africa before being collected by FoCH In-country Project Manager Mr Consider Mudenda, who is arranging for them to be transported to Chitambo.  There, they will provide a massive boost to the Scottish Government sponsored emergency resource centre.   
What wonderful multi way collaboration?!

SAS book donation

Consider collects the books

Scotland's legacy at Chitambo

Scotland's legacy at Chitambo Zambia, the new museum at the David Livingstone Monument, Chipundu. Thanks to Mr Vipool Patidar, CEO of Synwave Power Zambia, solar power providers, for sharing the video clip. With backing from Scottish Government, and in collaboration with First Aid Africa and FoCH, Synwave Power Zambia has provided solar power to Chitambo Hospital and 2 hardest to reach clinics, Gibson and Chipundu, which have no mobile phone connectivity.
The company seeks to extend solar power to 3 further hard to reach clinics including Reuben, on the Congolese border, only reachable by motorbike and boat. Seeking secret billionaires to help fund this initiative (around £25,000 for all 3 clinics). Cost in terms of lives saved? Immeasurable!!

Livingstone's legacy: yesterday, today and tomorrow

What a great event this was, on Thursday 14th March.  Our fundraising seminar talk by our Charity Patron, Julie Davidson and Marion Moffat, great, great niece of David Livingstone's wife Mary Moffat, was a great success. Over 20 people, many with deep connections to Zambia, attended and contributed towards a proposed telehealth link at Chitambo.
Huge thanks to the speakers, who conversed on 'Livingstone's legacy: yesterday, today and tomorrow'. Thanks also to Profesor Liz Grant and colleagues at the Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh/Zambian UK Health Workforce Alliance (ZUKHWA), who arranged the great venue; and to all who came and supported us. You are making a big difference.

Attentive audience

Geofrey Njovu assists with the technology

Geofrey chats with FoCH Trustee Dr. Kashina, after the seminar

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Remembering Janet

Today, Tuesday 12th March 2019, is the 2nd anniversary of the passing of our beloved Honorary President Mrs Janet Knox.  Janet was a nursing sister at Chitambo in the 1960s. She loved the place and the people and her main legacy is in supporting nurse training scholarships there. She and her family continue to offer generous financial support for that and other things.

Some Friends of Chitambo marked the day by meeting with Janet's husband George for a memorial lunch.  Despite protestations, George gave us another generous donation towards continuing Janet's legacy at Chitambo.  We are very grateful for that and the support of the Knox family in general.

It was lovely that our Trustee, Dr Bridget Innes, was there to bring first hand news of Chitambo. She has just returned from a very productive project monitoring visit to Chitambo.

Bridget also brought back a wonderful haul of Zambian crafts which will be offered for sale at our fundraising event at Edinburgh University on Thursday 14th March:

Janet's husband George

George, Richard and Bridget

Richard and Bridget

Janet resting in peace

Thank you B for the Zambian crafts

International Women's Day

FoCH was very proud to have a presence at the inaugural International Women's Day celebrations at the Zambian High Commission in London yesterday, Friday 8th March. The event was a tremendous success. It was very well organised and well attended, featuring stalls, speeches, inspirational stories, networking, and of course generous quantities of nshima, chicken and other wonderful Zambian foods. This was a very enriching event and particularly wonderful to see the strength, vibrancy and confidence of Zambian women of all ages, proudly taking their place in the world. Let world affairs rage all around, here at the Zambian High Commission it was solidarity and sisterhood: all one under the sun.
Thank you to the organisers for this valuable opportunity. They say that next year will be even better. Is that even possible?!

Meanwhile, in Zambia, our team, on their way back to Lusaka from Chitambo, was held up in Kabwe by a fantastic women's day parade through the city centre.

Chitambo visit

We are so proud of our FoCH team, Consider, Bridget and Tili, who visited Chitambo last week on project monitoring and evaluation business. They were shown great hospitality and had a very busy time inspecting the new radio function, meeting with our scholarship students, and the Chitambo Hospital management to discuss many exciting developments for Chitambo District. 

They also visited Chitambo's Chipundu Rural Health Clinic in torrential rain. The Livingstone Monument was closed, so only seen from the gates. But, good news, a church group is upgrading the road and there are great plans for developing the district to the benefit of local people. 
Finally things are taking off for Chitambo District.  Thanks to all who are making it possible.

Thanks to our our team for the photos.

Bridget and Tili with Mr. Elekani, Hospital Administrator

The team with Dr. Mwamba (2nd from left)

Dr Mwamba (foreground)

Consider chairs the meeting with the hospital management team

On the road to Chipundu

Gates to Livingstone Monument

Friday, 1 March 2019

Chitambo Hospital Emergency Care Resource Centre

Out Trustee, Dr. Bridget Innes, semi-retired Edinburgh GP, is off to Zambia today, taking in her luggage 3 more tablet pcs and around 8 recent British National Drug Formularies (BNFs), destined for the Chitambo emergency care resource centre. 

Recent BNF by kind donation of Eastfield Medicla Practice, Penicuik, Scotland

Lenovo Yoga Tablet pcs, with emergency care downloads,  for use by staff at remote clinics
The BNFs were kindly donated by Dr. Kathryn Howe and colleagues at Eastfield Medical Practice, Penicuik, Scotland.  They are like gold in Chitambo District and will be very rueful to staff at the hospital and remote clinics, especially where there is no doctor.

The purpose of this centre, sponsored by Scottish Government, is to help staff give informed help and advice for common medical emergencies:   complicated child birth; road accidents; injuries; snake bite; rabies; elephant attacks; mushroom poisoning name it!

Staff are appreciative of all the resource provided although they do need more.  Please see this short home made video clip:

Monday, 25 February 2019

Don't miss this rare opportunity

Dear Friend or Colleague,
If you are within striking distance of Edinburgh, Scotland, on Thursday 14th March 2019, please join us for this  unique Friends of Chitambo fundraising event at the Lister Learning and Teaching Centre, University of Edinburgh,  5 Roxburgh Place, EDINBURGH EH8 9SU,  12.30 to 1.30 pm.

This is a rare opportunity to hear Marion Moffat, great, great niece of Dr. David Livingston'es wife, Mary Moffat, conversing with Julie Davidson, acclaimed journalist and author of 'Looking for Mrs. Livingstone', conversing on Dr. David Livingstone's legacy.

Entrance is £3 per person (students £1.50), with proceeds in aid of Chitambo Hospital, central Zambia.  The talk is followed by networking, book sales/signing, and Zambian craft sales.

We hope to see you there.  Please contact me if you need any further information.  I will be delighted to help.   Please, please also forward this message to anyone you know who might be interested.

Thank you and warm wishes,
Jo Vallis, FoCH Chair

Proudly presenting our new FoCH leaflet

 Proudly presenting our new FoCH leaflet, thanks to Trustee Heather Emond:

Friday, 22 February 2019

Proudly Zambian

See this amazing video about young Zambians contributing, on the international stage, to technological advances:

Chitambo School of Nursing has come a long way

Look at this wonderful page?! :
Such progress since opening in 2012?

The School was established by the missionaries in 1958 and was training Enrolled Nurses. The training institution was handed over to the Government of the Republic of Zambia in 1967.

Heavy rains play havoc with the Great North Road

Our hearts are with Zambia as the Great North Road, the main trade route with Tanzania, is cut off by heavy rain:…/lufune-bridge-on-great-north…/

Website development

Thanks to Edinburgh Software Engineer Paul Vallis for the great progress on building our new website and thanks to content management company, Contentful, for the pro bono charity support:
Vallis (@Vazerthon) Tweeted:
I've just had confirmation from @contentful that I can use a pro bono account for the
@FriendsChitambo site I'm building with @gatsbyjs 🎉🎉🎉 Great to see technology companies helping out in the #charity space!…

Historic visits to 'Livingstone's Hospital'

Chitambo Hospital, central Zambia, is on the map! Dr Malama, Permanent Secretary for Health, paid his first visit to the hospital on 15th February. What an honour. The visit was a great success. Several Scottish Government officials have also, previously, visited Chitambo. Hopefully the hospital, founded in memory of Dr David Livingstone, who died nearby, will one day have all the resources it needs.

Imagine a Scottish district general hospital with no running water, autoclave, or utility vehicle? Just a few of the challenges Dr Malama found during his visit to Chitambo Hospital, the living memorial to Scottish hero Dr. David Livingstone.

Dr Malama, Permanent Secretary for Health, inspects maternity registers 

Message from SCOZAP

Message from the Scottish Zambia Partnership (SCOZAP), our Zambian leaders in Scotland:…/join-scozap-for-10k-and-social-event…

Wild Namibia photo exhibition

Wonderful Haigs Penicuik....
has hung a selection of photos by Paul Vallis, Penicuik Hunter 2007, for sale in aid of Chitambo Hospital, Zambia. Come see these 'Wild Namibia' photos if you can, and stay for coffee and a legendary Haigs scone.

Challenges of installing emergency radio infrastructure

Reaching the remote Reuben Rural health Clinic, on the Congo Border, was very challenging for CC Systems, who installed the new emergency radio infrastructure in  Chitambo District (See pictures).  However, they managed and Reuben now has radio cover and can reach several other Chitambo District clinics.  This will save lives of  remote, rural villagers.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

CC Systems has installed the new radio infrastructure at Chitambo Hospital

Message from Chitambo partners:

"The new radio system installation at Chitambo Hospital by CC Systems. All the four(4) ambulances within Chitambo District now have radio communication systems.Thumbs up to our partners FoCH. The gesture will improve on responses to emergencies."

Good news from Chitambo towards an activation of the short code (Toll free number) by the Zambian Ministry of Health. Good Afternoon Consider, We have done the radio installation at Chitambo hospital and on a primary test with one ambulance we could reach a distance of around 40 km (see attached pictures). Also we did have a bit of a challenge to get to Reuben RHC that borders Zambia and Congo DRC (see pictures attached) we managed and all went well. Reuben has communication as well and connects to several clinics. We installed one extra mobile antenna into one additional Ambulance which already had a radio installed but no antenna Please let us know should there be any issue with the system, but we do not expect any problems. With Kind Regards CC Systems
CC Systems installing the emergency radio infrastructure