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