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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?