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Monday, 21 December 2015

Season's Greetings from all at Friends of Chitambo




2015 what a year!  

Thank you to all our Friends and supporters.

Chitambo School of Nursing: Update



It's not so long since Chitambo School of Nursing's 2nd Intake received their first stripe on their caps and/or uniform lapels, at the Capping Ceremony in September 2015.  This was 6 months into training and marked their initiation into the profession.



Capping Ceremony

Capped students
The same students sat their first end of year exams on 14th December and Mr. Levi Chifwaila, Senior Nurse Tutor, sent this photo by WhatsApp.



 
End of year exams


Amongst these students are the 2 new candidates for the Friends of Chitambo Nurse Training Scholarship, one male, one female.  Further details of the  background reasons for their selection will follow.   However, meantime, we wish them all the very best with exam results and on-going training. 

The first 2 students whom we supported graduated in September, at the spectacular Graduation Ceremony (the day after the Capping Ceremony).  Hearty congratulations to them and to all their fellow graduates.  We wish you all very well in your future careers, serving Zambia's health care needs.

Chitambo School of Nursing Graduation Ceremony, September 2015 


'Our' first Friends of Chitambo Scholars!











Thursday, 17 December 2015

A wrap around the world?

Thanks to our 3 recent fundraising events (our Patron Julie Davidson's talk at the Scottish Government's 10th Anniversary of International Development
Celebrations; Hilary Mitchell's Edinburgh Quiz Night; and our regular Penicuik Christmas Street Fair stall, masterminded by our Trustees Margaret Coul and Gillian Little) we have raised enough to purchase around 12 Life Wraps (non-pneumatic ant-shock garments) for controlling haemorrhage in childbirth:  http://www.safemotherhood.ucsf.edu/
These have been expressly requested by doctors at Chitambo Hospital and we hope to be able to provide one to each of the 12 Chitambo Rural Health Clinics (2 based at Chitambo Hospital itself):
http://u.osmfr.org/m/60291/
  (Map courtesy of OpenStreetMap.org).

Post Partum Haemorrhage is all too common in this remote area where transport and communications are challenging and women often have to travel long distances by bicycle or on foot to obtain help in childbirth.  Of course, prevention is better than cure and we are investigating whether additional supplies of high quality Misoprostol, offered free of charge by Life for African Mothers (http://lifeforafricanmothers.org/), are needed at Chitambo Hospital.

However, doctors are certain that, meantime, the Life Wraps will save lives. 

It has been an interesting 'round the world' tour to find the suppliers of the garments but they have been tracked to  a company called Blue Fuzion, based in Hong Kong.  Assuming reasonable shipping costs, we hope that the garments will soon be winging their way to Chitambo.  In the words of lady doctor-in-charge, Dr. Telo Siame: 'That would be awesome!'

Thank you everyone who has given their support on this.

Here are a few photos from the fundraising events:

  • Scottish Government 10th Anniversary of International Development Celebrations (7th November 2015)
 Julie talked about her book, 'Looking for Mrs. Livingstone', in aid of Friends of Chitambo.  The audience dug in their pockets and apparently this talk attracted more donations than any other in the programme of events.


Friends of Chitambo Patron, Julie Davidson, author and journalist, peaks at the
Scottish Government 10th Anniversary of International Development celebrations, Edinburgh, 7th November 2015


Celebratory music!
 
  • Hil's Edinburgh Quiz Night (3rd December 2015) 
 Hilary Wardle, Friends of Chitambo, organised this highly successful event.  Around 50 people turned out, despite the deep snow and torrential rain.  Amongst other wonderful raffle prizes, was this African hamper, in a basket straight from Chitambo, stuffed with African goodies (Red Bush tea, Kasama coffee, Zambian place mats, etc.).



Raffle prizes

 

During the evening, we sent the WhatApp wave (below) to Chitambo, along with a voice over, and received thank you messages in reply.  Technology is indeed a wonderful thing!

Quiz night goers give Chitambo a WhatsApp wave

  • Penicuik Christmas Street Fair (5th December 2015)
Just 2 days after the Quiz Night, we held our annual stall at the Peniuik Christmas Street Fair.  Again the weather was atrocious but people turned out in their droves and bought masses of raffle tickets as well as playing the Tombola, organised by Trustees Margaret and Gillian.

Raffle ticket sales were boosted by help from Duncan (pictured)
 
, grandson of our Honorary President Janet Knox.  Duncan was visiting from Australia and put his excellent sales skills to work!

As usual, Penicuik Mayos (Mothers) Margaret and Gillian, did the lions share of the work, including providing vast quantities of home baking and other goods for the cause.



Supersalesman Duncan


Janet and Margaret preside over
our stall


Trusty Trustees, Margaret and Gillian, preside over the Friends of Chitambo
stall at the Penicuik Christmas Street Fair


 

 Thank you to EVERYONE who has contributed.
 
You are making a real difference
 


 
 

 

Friday, 27 November 2015

Chitambo District Emergency Care WhatsApp Network

Remarkable history has been made at Chitambo this week.  ICT Workshop leads have established 2 Facebook pages, one open (Chitambo Hospital Facebook Group) and the other for closed and confidential discussion of emergency cases and issues.

They also established a WhatsApp Emergency Care support network.  This is to enable isolated staff in Rural Health Clinics to obtain help and support from peers and experts, in managing serious emergencies.

2 such emergencies were reported within the first 24 hours.  

Case 1: This was a case of an abortion in a 15 year old girl.  Highly experienced medical and nursing staff were able to guide the clinic nurse in how to handle the case asking questions such as was it a complete or partial abortion?; how much bleeding was there?; was the patient anaemic?

They then instructed the nurse to initiate intravenous fluids and antibiotics and to keep them updated.   If the bleeding was excessive, the patient would need to be referred to hospital.  However, with the advice given, her condition improved and this was not necessary.

Case 2: This was a road traffic accident and the hospital team was summoned to prepare an ambulance and prepare to receive 2 road traffic accident victims.  Road traffic accidents are all too common on the Great North Road (GNR), which runs from Cape to Cairo and passes by Chitambo.  Any initiative which speeds up handling of such cases will save lives.

These are very innovative and creative responses, by our Zambian and Chitambo partners, to improving emergency care communications in the Chitambo District.  We are all so proud of them.


Gifts from Maternal and Childhealth Advocacy International (MCAI)

Scottish charity MCAI donated 3 copies of their huge textbook, International Maternal and Child Health Care (Click here), to Chitambo and these were delivered there in September 2015.  At least one copy is for the new emergency care resource room established as part of our current Scottish Government-sponsored project on 'Strengthening emergency care communications in the Chitambo District.

Professor David Southhall, MCAI Medical Director, has now offered Chitambo Hospital staff copies of 2 new pocket books:

In addition, he has forwarded a vast e-library of Maternal and Child Health resources (books, papers, guidelines, videos etc.) on a USB stick (pictures below).  All this is completely free of charge and simply for the sake of improving care of women and children in the Chitambo District, and contributing to saving lives.  

Thank you MCAI, for these very generous gestures.  We are very grateful.


Thursday, 26 November 2015

Chitambo computing workshop

Zambian project partners have been running an Information and Computer Technology (ICT) workshop at Chitambo all of this week (November 23rd to 27th).  This as part of our Small Grant project on 'Strengthening emergency care communication in the Chitambo District'.  This project is sponsored by the Scottish Government and has covered a lot of valuable ground in the first 6 months.

The aim of this November workshop was to enable Chitambo Hospital and Rural Health Centre (RHC) clinical staff to make best use of the  emergency care resources supplied by the project and to communicate for support on emergency are matters.

Chitambo Hospital Information Officer, Mr. Vincent Kole, created this Facebook page to initiate dialogue: Click here to see

He and Mr. Consider Mudenda, ICT Expert and In-country Project Lead, have now initiated a further, closed emergency care discussion group and a WhatsApp discussion/support group.  The workshop students have been introduced to all these groups and have been chatting on them today. 

Click here for the workshop photos: Workshop photos

Life for African Mothers are also offering to help

It is raining offers of wonderful help for the Chitambo emergency care project.  The latest offer is from Life for African Mothers: Click here to see more

This organisation was started by Angela Gorman, a retired nurse from Wales, who was appalled by the high rates of preventable maternal mortality around the world.  The charity supplies Misoprostol and other anti-haemorrhage drugs to hospitals around the world and has offered this to Chitambo.  Just 3 Misoprostol tablets can prevent haemorrhage in childbirth and make the difference between life and death for Chitambo District mothers.

Thank you very much Angela, for this wonderful offer.  We hope that Chitambo contacts will be able to link with you so that local mothers can benefit from this generous initiative.

This offer came about as a result of a message on the HIFA Network (HIFA) requesting help with sourcing Non-pneumatic Anti-shock garments for management of post-partum haemorrhage in childbirth: Click here for more information
Doctors at Chitambo Hospital indicated that these garments could save lives.  They are like wet suits and can help to control the bleeding once it has happened, whereas Misoprostol and other drugs can prevent bleeding in the first place.

Clearly prevention is better than cure.  However, both are likely to be needed and our forthcoming fundraising event, a pre-Christmas Quiz Night, will focus on raising funds to supply the 'wet suits' to as many Chitambo clinics as possible.

Mapping Chitambo District

Bob Kerr of OpenStreetMap.org (Click here) is doing wonderful work to start mapping Chitambo Hospital and its Rural Health Clinics. This will prove very useful to hospital and ambulance crews who will then be better able to track progress and distances between health care facilities, with implications for streamlining of emergency care delivery. Have a look at this: Chitambo District Hospital and Rural Health Clinics

Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Virtual Doctors are offering help

Virtual Doctors is a Zambian registered NGO which is doing wonderful work in Telemedicine: Click here to see more
They want to offer their services to Chitambo. They have a new App, tablet pcs and a team of medical advisors who could help to answer tricky emergency questions. This is a simple, practical system and is working well elsewhere in Zambia. What do you think?

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Our Patron is a Saint!


Our Patron, Julie Davidson, Scottish journalist and writer, is a saint!  She has been invited to speak at the 10th Anniversary of International Development celebrations, in Edinburgh. She  will be speaking at the 'Culture Day' on Saturday 7th November, and is taking the opportunity to mention our charity.   Thank you Julie.

Here are some more details of the event:

Saturday 7th: “Culture Day” – this event is open to the public, and takes place in the Grassmarket Centre, in Edinburgh:

Julie will be speaking about her book “Looking for Mrs Livingstone” Click here for details                                                                             
 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Highlights of our past year: AGM presentation

You may be interested to see some of the highlights of our past year, as presented at our recent AGM: Click here for the AGM presentation: Click here for the AGM presentation

Friday, 16 October 2015

Friends of Chitambo AGM 2015

We are holding our AGM on Saturday 24th October 2015, Zambia's 51st birthday.  Here are the details: Click here for the Agenda

We hope, especially if you are local to Edinburgh,Scotland, that you can join us and hear about our progress.  Much has happened over the past year, particularly with our support of student nurse scholarships at the Chitambo School of Nursing and our Scottish Government Small Grant funding for a project on 'Strengthening Emergency Care Communications in the Chitambo District'.  

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Scottish Partners' Exchange Visit to Zambia

3 Scottish partners travelled to Zambia in September 2015, on Scottish Government Small Grant business.  This was a very successful trip, more than equalling our Zambian partners' earlier trip to Scotland (June 2015).  A full report will follow shortly.  Meantime, here are a few photographic highlights:


Proud moment: Mr. Levi Chifwaila leads his graduating flock to the stadium, watched by VIP guests Dr. David Kasonde, Minister of Health, and the American Ambassador


Chitambo School of Nursing Graduation Ceremony: 2015


Award-winning student receives the Friends of Chitambo Cup
Chitambo Hospital Staff receive Scottish Government-sponsored Emergency care Resources
(L to R: Dr Ann Wales, Head of Knowledge Services, NHS Education for Scotland; Mr. Levi Chifwaila, Senior Nurse Tutor, Chuitambo School of Nursing; Mr. Consider Mudenda, In-Country Project Lead/ICT Lead; Hospital Administrator; Dr. Bwalya, Medical Officer, Chitambo Hospital; Matron Milimo, Matron, Chitambo Hospital)

Books for the Chitambo Hospital Emergency Care Resource Centre

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Scenes from the Penicuik Summer Street Fair 2015

Support for FoCh from the 2015 Penicuik Hunter and Lass, town Principles 
Margaret Coull, Master stall holder/baker
Gillian Little, Master stall holder/baker
Jo Vallis...gardener!
       


Richard Vallis, staunch supporter,  presiding over Margaret and Gillian's home baking;
Janet's marmalade; Jo's jam...and other things

Garden produce packaged for sale
Substantial funds were raised, once again, towards 2 further student nurse scholarships.

Farming for Chitambo!

Many Zambians are excellent farmers, growing wonderful fresh vegetables for subsistence purposes.  That is admirable since farming is very hard work and it is one thing growing veg for pleasure and quite another when people's lives depend on a good harvest.  Zambian maize harvests are predicted to be poor in 2015, due to poor rainfall.  Since maize is Zambia's staple diet, this has implications for food security in some part of the country.

There is no comparison between Zambian crop yields and a little amateur gardening at West Street, Penicuik (Scottish FoCh HQ).  That said, and despite our abysmal UK summer, results of this gardening were modestly good  this year (Pictured below).  No shortage of rain in Penicuik, of course.  Quite the opposite!  Is all this strange weather down to global warming and, if so, what are the implications for both Scotland and Zambia and what can be done about it?

 Parsley

 Herbs

 Broad beans

Potatoes

Blackcurrants

Blackcurrants turned to jam

This produce went on sale at our street market stall on Saturday 23rd August 2015, and contributed to sales (See the next post for details).


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Knitting for Chitambo

Penicuik, Scotland, has got talent!  Serious knitting talent, and is bringing this to bear on supporting work at Chitambo Hospital.

Two Friends of Chitambo are involved: Mrs. Maureen Brown and Miss Margaret Coull.

Maureen, from Cape Town, South Africa, originally, is a Master Knitter.  She knits night and day and her living room is a colourful Aladin's cave of brightly coloured wool, some of which has been turned into giant polar bears, teddies and African parrots which Maureen sells at local craft fares.  However, on this occasion, she is turning her considerable talent to making baby clothes and blankets for donation to Chitambo Hospital.



Mrs. Maureen Brown, Master Knitter, with a baby blanket for Chitambo






Exquisite baby cardigans and jumpers

These will be taken to Chitambo by a Scottish delegation which is travelling there in September 2015, and they are bound to be greatly welcomed by mothers and babies who make up the bulk of the in-patient population.  Maureen, we cannot thank you enough for your immensely generous effort.  Natotela sana mukwai (thank you very much, in the local ciBemba).  As an African yourself, you know full well what a difference this will make.

Margaret, a retired Primary School Teacher, is also an accomplished knitter.  She is a longstanding Friend of Chitambo and Penicuik Mayo (Mother) and also involves herself in many other local activities, including the Mother's Union, which is 'big' in Zambia:  http://www.mothersunion.org/node/355

One of the MU's activities is knitting baby hats for pre-term and other babies and this is to our advantage since Margaret has a surplus of small hats she has knitted.


Margaret's tiny pre-term baby hats

These will also be travelling to Chitambo in September and should make a very nice compliment to Maureen's jumpers and blankets.  Thank you again Margaret.  You are, as always, a staunch and loyal supporter.  

In addition, Mrs. Gillian Little, another local Friend of Chitambo and Penicuik Mayo, is providing baby grows for taking to Chitambo.  Thank you very much Gillian, Margaret and Maureen.  These are wonderful donations and will make a real difference.





Friday, 14 August 2015

Recruiting for Chitambo School of Nursing's 3rd Intake

As First Intake prepares to graduate on 11th September 2015, staff at Chitambo School of Nursing are  very busy preparing for a week of interviewing for their 3rd intake, to start in 2016.  To say that the work of the school is growing would be an understatement.  Not only is it growing but, as hoped at the outset, it is having a knock-on effect on wider community regeneration.  A Zambian newspaper article describes how unemployed youth are gaining valuable building experience and skills through helping to construct the new student hostels (see below).  This has positive implications for their future job opportunities, which can only be good.



New hostels underway

Sunday, 9 August 2015

More miracles!

Friday 7th August was a day of miracles for Friends of Chitambo. Jo and Richard Vallis travelled to Dundee to collect 2 fine laptops from Mr. Winston Flynn, who lives near Dundee and works at Perth College, part of the University of the Highlands and Islands. Winston is a Technical Officer there and is skilled in all aspects of computing work. As his young son, Winston Jnr, said, "There's nothing he can't fix"!  
Winston has very thoughtfully prepared the two used laptops for use in Zambia and has also thrown in 7 used Nokia Smartphone handsets. This brings us to a total of 5 used laptops and, with 3 existing ones, 10 used Smartphone handsets...only 2 short of the 12 needed to provide one to each of the Chitambo Rural Health Clinics. All this will go a long ways to  improving  emergency care communications in the Chitambo District and will help to save lives.

Natotela sana mukwai (THANK YOU) Ba Winston and everyone else who has helped...Professor Jean Kerr, University of Dundee, and Drs. Geoff and Chris Vallis (University of Exeter, and Newcastle respectively), for their very generous donations.

Winston was at work when we called at his home on Friday. However, his wife, Cecilia (a nurse), handed over the donations...aided by their 2 delightful young sons, Winston Jnr. and Jason. These children are a tribute to Zambian upbringing...charming, polite and welcoming. The presence of this Zambian family in the Dundee area is certainly an asset.


                                   
         
Ba Cecelia presents the laptops                        




A few of the Nokia Smartphone handsets            

Winston and Cecilia have big hearts and are keen to help their native Zambia in any way they can. They have already made generous donations to disability and education projects in Central Province. With their combined (nursing and IT skills) they have much to offer. However, with a growing young family they are short on time. That is our gain since they have expressed willing to help us in any way they can and I am delighted to say that they are joining Friends of Chitambo. Mwaiseni mukwai! We welcome you aboard.

After visiting the Flynn family, Richard and I pressed on to the University of Dundee to collect our second consignment of donations from the Clinical Skills Centre at the Medical School. Centre Manager, Gill Keith, was on holiday but had arranged for collection of medical and nursing textbooks from Dr. George Hogg, a lecturer in the department, and some teaching models, mainly of an obstetric nature. These are great gifts thank you and thanks also to Mr. Richard Barnes, a technician in the Centre, who assisted with transporting a packed trolley to our waiting car.

                                                                             Huge books!


                                  
            Obstetric models                   


 

    Mr. Richard Barnes helps with a barrow load!

On return home, another box of books was waiting in our woodpile!  They were from Ruth Aird, a local Community Nurse, who runs an organisation called Holding Hands with Charities, which collects surplus medical stock and makes it available for redistribution through charities like ours.  The books included 6 recent British National Formularies (BNF), which are bound to be useful at Chitambo.  




  BNF from 'Holding Hands with Charities', Edinburgh (read about what they do here:
                                http://meseraniproject.co.uk/medical-supplies-from-edinburgh/) 

Thank you very much indeed Ruth, especially when you are so busy preparing for a humanitarian trip to Romania.

Our world is full of miracles and angels!


Thursday, 6 August 2015

The best news is.....

The best news, just in today, is that the first 2 student nurses sponsored by Friends of Chitambo have passed their final exams and are now fully qualified nurses!  We offer our heartiest congratulations to the students and their teachers for this real achievement.  It will make a huge difference to the  live of these underprivileged students and their abilities to support their families.  It will also make a big difference to upscaling of nursing workforce in Zambia.  That can only be good.

The Chitambo School of Nursing's First Student Intake, of 27 students, graduate on 11th September 2015.  Jo Vallis, Coordinator, Fiends of Chitambo has been invited to the graduation ceremony so please watch this space for the photographs.

It's raining used laptops!

An appeal for used laptops for Chitambo resulted first in 2 offers from Dundee.  The first was from Professor Jean Kerr, Professor of Medical Education.  The laptops were presented at the Clinical Skills Centre at the Medical School, Ninewells Hospital Dundee (Pictured):


Left to right: Prof. Jean Kerr, Professor of Medical Education; Dr. Jo Vallis, Coordinator, Friends of Chitambo; Professor M. Smith, Dean of Nursing; Dr. Ben Shippey, Director, Clinical Skills Centre; Gill Keith, Centre Manager

Professor Kerr and colleagues have also offered medical books and teaching equipment from the Clinical Skills Centre.

The second offer was from Scottish Zambia Partnership (SCOZAP) member Mr.Winston Flynn, who works in ICT at Perth College.  He very kindly sourced 2 used laptops and has prepared these for use in Zambia.

Two members of the Vallis family have also sent 2 MacBooks.  So we currently have a total of 6 good laptops to take to Zambia in September 2015, on our reciprocal project visit.

Heartfelt thanks to all who have helped.  You are making such a difference. 

We are also appealing for used smartphone handsets for use with our emergency care project's mobile phone 'hotline'.

Great publicity links

We are very fortunate that both NHS Education for Scotland Publicity Officers, Jen MacColgan and MaryJo Obrien, and our Friend of Chitambo Patron, Julie Davidson (Author and Journalist), provided great publicity for Levi and Consider's UK visit.

Jan and MaryJo issued a press release and attracted this article in the Midlothian Advertiser: http://www.midlothianadvertiser.co.uk/news/local-news/charity-funding-to-aid-healthcare-1-3810801

Julie re-sent the press-release to her journalistic contacts at the Edinburgh Evening News, resulting in this article: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/health/ambulance-aid-for-zambian-villagers-1-3808845

Julie has also submitted an article to the Church of Scotland Magazine, Life and Work.  It will be published in the September 2015 issue.

Thank you very much to these colleagues and to the newspapers for these valuable contributions.

Zambian partners exchange visit to Scotland

Courtesy of our Scottish Government Small Grant award, Mr. Levi Chifwaila, Senior Nurse Tutor, Chitambo School of Nursing, and Mr. Consider Mudenda, Director of the Zambian Research and Development Technology Academy (ZRDTA), travelled to Scotland (June 2015) for a packed programme of events.  Read all about it in our report Clik here for the visit report and photos

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Friend of Chitambo honoured in Zambian Labour Day Awards

We are thrilled that our Friends of Chitambo Trustee, Mr. Levi Chifwaila, was honoured in Friday's Labour Day Awards, in the Chitambo District.
 
Levi is Senior Nurse Tutor at Chitambo School of Nursing.  He was  selected  by a committee composed of hospital and school of nursing staff, who unanimously voted him the most hard working member of staff.  
 
He received this very fine copper plated fine wooden shield, with 'Labour Day Award' and his name engraved on it:
 
 
                                                                      Levi's Award
 
The awards were presented at Mukando, north of Chitambo, on Great North Road.  This is to be the new Chitambo District HQ.  Employees from a range of local industries and services (health, education, agriculture, fisheries etc) gathered for the ceremony.  Awardees were given a small amount of cash to buy their own lunch and a little extra for an item, such as a mattress or something else of use to them personally.
 
Awards were presented by a panel including Mr. Kaseba, the new Chitambo District Commissioner,  and Dr. Mumba, District Director of Health.  
 
 
                          Levi receives his award from Dr. Mumba, District Director of Health
             
 
 
       The proud owner of the Labour Day Award for 'most hardworking' member of staff
 
It is a great gesture to honour rural health workers in this way.  They work so hard and often, apparently, for little tangible reward.  We are delighted that Levi's contribution has been recognised.  As a highly educated and experienced nurse and tutor, he is a very valuable asset to Chitambo.  Anything that will help him to stay and serve the community there seems a very good thing.
 
The School of Nursing's driver was also awarded for his loyalty.

A very special report direct from Chitambo

Here is Mr. Mwelwa's report on his recent visit to Chitambo: Click for Pdf

The photographs are all his own work.
This report will be on show at the NHSScotland Event (Scotland's annual health conference: Click here to view the Event), alongside our conference poster, which 2 Zambian partners, Mr. Levi Chifwaila and Mr. Consider Mudenda, will be presenting. Here is a link to the draft poster: Click to view the poster Pdf
 
This is true partnership with Zambian and Chitambo partners leading on these important contributions.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Mr. Mwelwa Reports


Mr. Chola Mwelwa is back in the UK after his visit to Zambia, including to his home village of Chitambo where he held a very successful meeting with our partners there, Dr. Mmamulatelo Siame; Mr. Levi Chifwaila, Reverend Banda, and Mr. Kasoka, Principal Tutor (pictured):
















Left  to Right: Mr. Chola Mwelwa; Mr. Levi Chifwaila; Dr. Mmamulatelo Siame; Mr. Jonathan Kasoka (with Chitambo School of Nursing in the background)

Mr. Mwelwa is drafting a short report on the visit. However, in brief, he was generously hosted by Dr. Siame and Mr. Chifwaila. They made time to discuss FoCh business, including both the Small Grant project and the Nurse Training Scholarships; showed Mr. Mwelwa over the hospital and School of Nursing; and given hospitality at mr. Chifwiala's home.


Mr. Mwelwa was very impressed with developments at Chitambo, including the Nursing School buildings and new tutor housing.


Small Grant Project discussions:

The aims of the project were outlined and the logistics of establishing a resource centre at the hospital for first aid advice on common emergencies. The team looked at potential sites, in the hospital, including the nurses' duty room off Labour Ward (pictured).
Mr. Mwelwa inspects the potential Emergency Care Resource Centre at Chtambo Hospital
This is rather cramped. However, it houses the hospital’s 2-way radio system and may also be appropriate because, as Mr. Chifwaila says:
That is where nurses stay at night and there is almost always someone (there) at any given time.  Therefore if all nurses are oriented and put one on call each day, just to answer calls and give advice, maybe be more feasible.”


He adds that this needs brainstorming and that is what we will be doing when he comes to Scotland, on project business, in June 2015.
Apparently Dr. Siame suggested the doctors' office as a possible alternative, adding that she is generally far too busy to sit in an office. Indeed, as Mr. Mwelwa explained, Dr. Siame had left a long queue of outpatients in order to join the meeting. Afterwards the queue was even longer. This is a salutary insight. Whatever we jointly attempt should probably be very modest in order not to overload an already severely stretched service.



Mr. Mwelwa also observed that much would depend on gaining community 'buy-in' to the proposed emergency care advice centre and mobile phone 'hotline'. He suggested that this could best be done through using senior community members, whom he knows, to act as go-betweens between the health service and the community. This would both help to ensure that people understood the purpose of the advisory service and contribute to greater transparency about what was on offer.


Nurse Training Scholarships

Mr. Mwelwa met 'our' first two students and obtained very touching thank you statements from them, for the support which FoCh has provided.  Extracts of these could possibly be used for fundraising purposes. What do you think?

Meantime, a huge Mwabombeni Mukwia (well done!) to Mr. Mwelwa, and the Chitambo Team, for this historic meeting. You are all amazing and are definitely creating Chitambo's future  history!

More on this unfolding story soon.