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Monday, 29 August 2016

Monitoring & Evaluation visit to Chitambo

Congratulations to Zambian members of our Scottish Government Small Grant Team, Mr. Consider Mudenda, In-country Project Lead; Mr. Chola Mwelwa, Friends of Chitambo (Foch) Trustee and project Steering Group member; Mr. Vincent Kole, Chitambo Knowledge Consultant; and Mr. Levison Chifwaila, Clinical Consultant, for conducting a very successful monitoring and evaluation (M&E) visit at Chitambo last week (22nd to 26th August 2016).

The visit included meetings with key Chitambo Hospital and Rural Health Clinic staff; hearing about progress towards implementation of the free Zambian  national shortcode number for health (992); conducting upwards of 20 interviews on health workers' use of the knowledge resources provided by the project; assessing usage of some of the Information and Computer (ICT) devices also provided;  and meeting members of some Neighbourhood Health Committees regarding feedback on uptake and usage of the shortcode once it is in place.

Mr. Mwelwa, a nurse based in Chesterfield, England, is from Chitambo, his home village.  Opportunely, he was paying a visit home at the time of the M&E visit, with his wife and 12-year-old son Mumba.  Ba Chola kindly carried a conference poster for Consider and Vincent to deliver, along with a full paper, at the AHILA conference in Kampala, Uganda (October  2016), along with a USB stick containing a medical e-library, for the Chitambo Hospital emergency care resource centre provided by this project.  The e-library was donated by Scottish NGO MCAI: http://www.mcai.org.uk/

Chola is also carrying the completed evaluation forms back to the UK for analysis, in due course.


We will be writing reports but Consider has provided some great photos including some in which young Mumba kindly obliges by modelling both a Friends of Chitambo sponsored Life Wrap (http://www.safemotherhood.ucsf.edu/) and riding an ambulance bicycle.  The photos otherwise speak for themselves: M&E Visit to Chitambo August 2016&usp=sharing

Mr Mwelwa I presume?

Ba Chola assists with patient transfer

Consider and Chola on tour at Mpelembe

Who could disagree?

Young Mumba models a Life Wrap

Mumba models riding an ambulance bicycle

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Zambia goes to the polls today

Wishing all Zambians the very best for a good and peaceful outcome in today's general elections.
Lesa Amupale

Historic meeting in Chesterfield, England

Friends of Chitambo (FoCh) is full of wonderful surprises including a recent historic meeting between Trustees, in the England Peak District.

Mr. Chola Mwelwa, FoCh Trustee, is from Chitambo but currently living with his family near Chesterfield, England.   Chola and his wife, Loveness, are both nurses in the area.

Jo Vallis, FoCh Chair, and her husband Richard and sister Marion (visiting from New Zealand) took the opportunity to call on the Mwelwa family when visiting their younger sister who lives in the area.

Jo and Richard Vallis with Chola, Loveness and youngest Mwelwa son, Mumba

The Mwelwas' home is situated in a quiet suburb overlooking vast fields of corn.  It was magical to meet the family and sit in their lovely living room drinking tea, eating tumbua (Zambian doughnuts), and reminiscing about Chitambo.

Chola, Loveness and their youngest son, Mumba (pictured in his Zambia shirt), are heading to Zambia this month and are kindly taking some items for us.  These include our grant project conference poster for presentation at the AHILA conference, Uganda, by Zambian partners Vincent and Consider (October 2016).  Items also include a memory stick containing a health e-library, kindly donated by Scottish NGO MACAI: http://www.mcai.org.uk/  This is for an emergency care resource centre requested by Chitambo partners and funded by our Scottish Government Small Grant project.

As a project Steering Group member, Chola is invaluable and his visit home to Chitambo provides the ideal opportunity for him to link with In-country Project Lead, Mr. Consider Mudenda, on some project monitoring and evaluation.

The visit to Family Mwelwa also provided the opportunity for a book signing!  Jo Vallis had given Chola a copy of her sister Marion's book 'Livingstone's Hospital: the Story of Chitambo'....a history o Chitambo Hospital.  Chola had been astonished to read about many familiar names and places and requested that Marion sign the book.  This also made her day!

God speed to the Mwelwa family, and especially to young Mumba, who last visited Zambia when he was only 4 years old (8 years ago).  Although he is now a young Englishman, he should be very proud of his Zambian and Chitambo heritage.