Monday, 14 August 2017

Friends of Chitambo Street Fair stall advertised

Friends of Chitambo Trustee, Margaret, posted this article in the Penicuk newsletter, the Town Crier:

" Friends of Chitanbo are having a stall at the (Penicuik, Scotland) Street Fair on 26th August.  We continue to support the hospital and surrounding area in Zambia.  Five professionals, members of Friends, are going to meet Zambian partners and work with them training ambulance drivers in first aid.  They will see the progress made with the 'mini NHS24' (emergency response) service for which we received a grant from Holyrood.  This is a very necessary service  for outlying clinics of which one is 125 miles from the hospital."

Well said Ba Margaret.  As a retired teacher, your writing skills shine through.  Natotela sana mukwai (thank you) for your ongoing support.

Staunch Street Fair supporter Margaret 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

'Old' Friends treated to Chitambo hospitality

Due to the miracle of technology, news has been reaching us, here in Scotland,  of the traditional Chitambo hospitality offered to 2 'old' friends, Ron and Andrew Swanson.  Their Dad, Ron Swanson Senior, built the original student nurse hostel at Chitambo, which is still in use today.  Ron and Andrew lived at Chitambo as children.

They have just returned from a historic revisit and have been beaming back pictures and video clips of the tumultuous welcome which only Chitambo people could give.

In Ron's words, it was 'a very special, humbling and inspiring' experience and they particularly enjoyed the church service and meeting the only surviving person who had worked with their Dad.

Twatotela saana mukwai (thank you very much) to all at Chitambo for looking after  Ron and Andrew so well.

Penicuik Street fair stall: Saturday 26th August 2017

It's that time again and luckily we have all hands on deck to help with this annual fundraising event which takes place just a few days before some FoCH members travel to Zambia for the project monitoring and evaluation   visit and First Aid workshop.

A very big thank you to the following local Penicuik businesses for their generous donations of raffle prizes for this and previous events:

  • Enhance Beauty: http://www.enhance-beauty.co.uk/
  • The Best Seller: https://www.yell.com/biz/the-best-seller-penicuik-3916534/
  • Giovani's Italian Bistro: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g1068914-d4413562-Reviews-Giovanni_s_Bistro-Penicuik_Midlothian_Scotland.html
  • Castle Waerhouse: http://castlewarehouse.com/
Thank you, too, to FoCH Trustees Margaret and Gillian for negotiating these donations with the local shopkeepers and to all FoCH members and wider friends who are also helping with donations of goods, items, baking, and their precious time.

You are all making a real difference on the ground at Chitambo. 

Chola and Loveness are staunch supporters but are too far away to contribute directly.  However, they are planning a stall for this year's Zambian Independence Celebrations in the Midlands.  They are even thinking of designing a FoCH banner of their own, for local use.  

Last year the couple raised a whopping £300 on their stall and this went to purchasing 5 solar lights for use at remote Rural Health Clinics.  As nurses with extensive experience of the pressures of running remote Zambian health clinics, they know how important it is to have access to electricity.  On a recent visit to Chitambo District, they witnessed that nurses were having to sue the light of mobile phones to deliver babies.

Thank you to Chola and Loveness for your dedication to helping Chola's home community of Chitambo.  You too are making a huge difference.



Emergency radios and shortcode number for health

News just in from the Zambian Flying Doctor Service (ZFDS) is that the 4 Motorola Very High Frequency (VHF) radios which FoCH purchased with Scottish Government funds and private donations have arrived from South Africa.  They are for Chitambo Hospital and 3 'hardest to reach' Rural Health Clinics (RHC) and will be installed during the the week beginning 14th August 2017.

These clinics, in the remote Bangwelu Swamps area..incidentally the area where Scottish 'hero' David Livingstone died...have no mobile phone or internet connectivity and multiple delays in contacting Chitambo Hospital can cost lives.

During the September monitoring and evaluation visit, the project team hopes to be able to assess how these radios are bedding down  and what difference they are making.

Friends of Chitambo (FoCH) is, in communication with local health leads, also sponsoring an emergency shortcode for health.  This will give all Chitambo District citizens and others free mobile phone access to emergency help and advice.

Purchasing a 4-digit number for 1 year costs in the region of £3,000 and FoCH will do this with a very generous donation from the Twigger family in America, who have also contributed to emergency radio purchases.

Purchasing the 4-digit shortcode number is an interim measure until the Zambian Ministry of Health and mobile phone providers manage to launch the free national shortcode number, 992.   Delays are due to needing to include all emergency services (ambulance, fire, and police), some of which are under-developed and will take time to prepare for inclusion in this initiative.

Please see our online donations button if you can help with this life-saving work








First Aid training for ambulance drivers and frontline emergency care staff

In September 2017, a UK delegation will join Zambian partners on a visit to Chitambo for the purposes of monitoring and evaluating the emergency are project and contributing to delivery of a unique First Aid course to Chitambo District ambulance drivers and other front line emergency care staff.

Levi, a Senior Nurse Lecturer in Central Province, Zambia, is leading this course.  Levi has extensive experience as Charge Nurse and Senior Lecturer at Chitambo and he has long stated the need to train the 5 local ambulance drivers in basic First Aid.

These drivers are highly experienced and dedicated to helping local people in case of emergency.  However, some First Aid training will really save lives by enabling them to respond more efficiently and effectively to emergencies such as bleeding in pregnancy, road traffic accidents, burns, choking, snake bites etc.

This is vital in this vast rural area where distances are great, roads bad, and multiple delays in reaching hospital cost lives.

Thank you to Levi for this great work.  He has enlisted the help of a local surgeon to deliver the trauma aspects of the course.  Click here to see the programme

Alison, a young Scottish Nurse Lecturer is accompanying the delegation to Chitambo and, as a trained First Aid trainer she will contribute, with other course facilitators, to delivery of the programme.  Although she is well traveled, this will be her first time in Africa.

Friends of Chitambo (FoCH) contributes to ambulance maintenance.

Please see our on line donations button if you think you can help with this life-saving aspect.


FoCH presents at the International Convention of Medical Librarians (ICLM) Conference 2017, Dublin, Ireland

Whilst in Europe, Consider, In-country Project Coordinator for our Scottish Government sponsored Small Grant project on 'Strengthening emergency care communications in Chitambo District, Central Zambia', presented the following poster at the ICLM conference in Dublin, Ireland:Click here for the poster

Consider applied to attend this conference whilst presenting a previous poster, on behalf of the project, at the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) conference in Uganda in 2016.  His abstract, produced in record time to an impossible deadline, was accepted and the project enabled him to not only to disseminate important project information at the conference but also extend his own personal experience in rich and fulfilling ways.

The conference theme was 'Diversity in Practice' and there was much interest in Consider's poster.  He networked widely, including with 2 other Zambian delegates, and remains in touch with medical librarians and information scientists around the world.

Enjoying a  glass of Guinness in Dublin
Back in Scotland, Consider also paid a visit to Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, where he is studying for a distance Masters in Strategic Planning.  Here he met fellow Zambians students who were attending for their graduation ceremony.  What a great incentive for Consider.


Consider with fellow Zambian students


Consider at his university
Consider's university believes in keeping fees low

Africa to Scotland

June was a very busy month for Friends of Chitambo (FoCH), with visits to the UK and Ireland by 2 African partners, Consider and Blessing.  This was in relation to our Scottish Government sponsored project on 'Strengthening emergency communications in Chitambo District'.  In April 2017, we received a second round of funding for this work and are forging ahead with related developments.

Please see the following link for a summary of progress:Click here for the summary report

Whilst in Europe, Blessing, who is Knowledge Broker Development Manager for the project, worked with NHSScotland Knowledge colleagues on developing the Knowledge Broker role. Knowledge Brokers are library and information scientist who help health staff to translate (access and use) vital information into action at the frontline.

Consider, who is In-country Project Coordinator, complemented the Knowledge Broker work by downloading 5 apps/pdfs to 3 new Lenovo Yoga tablet pcs purchased for teh project.  These are for use at Chitambo's 3 'hardest to reach' Rural Health Clinics (RHC), where there is no mobile phone or internet connectivity.  The downloads include:

  • Medscape: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.medscape.android 
  • ZeroMothers Die:http://www.zeromothersdie.org/
  • British Red Cross First Aid (general and child):https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cube.rca 
  • Dynamed: http://www.knowledge.scot.nhs.uk/home/tools-and-apps/mobile-knowledge-config/mobile-resources/dynamed-plus---mobile.aspx 
  • Zambian national Formulary: http://www.moh.gov.zm/docs/znf.pdf 
We also purchased 40 new emergency care print books from teaching Aids at Low Cost: http://www.talcuk.org/

These include:

  • Essential Obstetric and Newborn Care (16 copies, one per 12 Chitambo District Rural Heath Centre plus some to spare for the resource centre)
  • Medicnes Sans Frontier (MSF) Clinical Guidelines (12 copies, 1 per 12 RHC)
  • British National Formulary (BNF) (12 copies, 1 per 12 RHC)
The books will be carried to Zambia in September 2017 when a UK delegation travels to Chitambo for the purposes of project monitoring/evaluation and a 3-day First Aid Workshop for ambulance drivers and front line emergency care staff, which is being organised by Chitambo partner, Levi, a Senior Nurse Lecturer.

Despite the busy Scottish visit schedule, there was some time for soem socialising and FoCH Trustees Chola and Loveness paid a visit to Penicuik, Scotland, to meet up with Consider.  Chola and Loveness are nurses in the Midlands of England.  However, Chola is a Lala gentleman, and is from Chitambo.  This makes him a real asset to FoCH as  he has close contacts on the ground at Chitambo and can advise on all local matters.
(L to R: Chola and Consider enjoying nshima in Penicuik Scotland)

Loveness and Chola in Penicuik: Whata fine couple they are

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

See our new logo

We have a fine new logo designed by Friends of Chitambo member, Consider, who is a computer specialist based in Lusaka, Zambia. Thank you Consider!


How I have benefited from a Friends of Chitambo Nurse Training Scholarship

Here's an extract from a letter from one of 'our' Scholarship students:

                                                                                         Chitambo School of Nursing

                                                                                         April 2017

How I knew about Friends of Chitambo and how I have benefited

I came to know about the Friends of Chitambo and the scholarships they offer through our group tutor.  I am half orphan.  My father is dead and we are being looked after by Mum who is a full time housewife.  I have challenges paying my school fees because the money Dad left is not enough to sustain I and my siblings.  So at one time my mother was called to school because of the financial situation I was having and upon hearing her cries my group tutor decided that I be included in the scholarship that Friends of Chitambo was offering.

The sponsorship has really relieved me of the anguish of paying school fees.  It was quite demoralising every semester when time for paying school fees was mentioned.  At one time I even thought of stopping school because I thought I was going nowhere.  But thanks be to God through the Friends of Chitambo who came to my rescue.  Now I see a light at the end of the tunnel,

Thank you Friends of Chitambo for giving me hope.  It's my prayer that you may do for others what you have done for me. AMEN.

Bwalya


Friends of Chitambo supports 2 student nurses through their 3-year Registered Nurse training at any one time.  Bwalya and Mary,the other student we are currently supporting, are in their final year.  We are in discussion with Chitambo colleagues about selecting a further 2 students once they graduate in 2018.


Training a student nurse costs around 21,000 Zambian Kwachas (£1,213) in total for the 3 year training (around £400/year), although this changes from year to year as costs increase.

See our online donation button on this blog if you think you can help.

Here is a list of items which the costs cover:

Friday, 9 June 2017

Bill's Story

We are indebted to another remarkable story of friendship.

FoCH Chair, Jo, almost deleted the email thinking it was junk!  What a mistake that would have been! It was the offer of another very substantial donation, from Mr. Bill Twigger, American penfriend of Jo's father, Dr. Hamilton Currie, who was doctor at Chitambo during the 1960s and 70s.

More correctly, the offer was from Bill's daughter, Nancy, a community pharmacist in Arizona, USA. Sadly, Bill passed away in January 2017, aged 96.  Please see his obituary here: Click here


Mr. Bill Twigger

Bill, wife June and daughter Nancy


Bill, a former Customs Broker in Pennsylvania, USA,  had contacted Jo and her sisters some years ago, by email.  Again, they were a bit suspicious but soon realised the contact was entirely genuine!  Here are some extracts from Bill's letter to them titled, My Story:

"Dear (Girls),
Where shall I begin?  To say "I was born" would risk plagiarizing the great Charles Dickens.  Yet, born I was, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 25, 1920 into a family poor in the exchequer but rich in the stuff of life.  About the time of any measurable accountability, we three children (myself and my two younger sisters, Mabel and Jane), along with our dear mother, managed to survive the Great Depression.  We grew up with little of this world's goods, but managed to keep body and soul together. 
 
In 1936 (my senior year of high school) my English literature teacher asked me if I would be interested in engaging in correspondence with a Scottish school student my age.  The novelty appealed to me instantly.  She gave me the name and address of one HAMILTON CURRIE.  As academic -- and other "growing-up" -- responsibilities allowed, we engaged a healthy exchange of letters and photographs which resulted in the establishment of a friendship which rivals any I developed with people with whom I had daily eyeball-to-eyeball contact........

I'll bring this epistle to a close by telling you that, in the not-too-distant future, you will receive an envelope containing some photographs and other trappings from my years of correspondence with your very special father and my dear friend.  With intentional irreverence, I now hereby declare that Hamilton Currie will be among the first "people" I'll be seeking on that blessed day when my Lord and Master calls me home to Glory.  Cordially yours,  
Bill Twigger"

The envelope duly arrived, to Jo's delight.   Sadly, the sisters later lost touch with Bill.  However, he had not forgotten them.  The reason his daughter, Nancy, contacted Jo was to say that her Dad had left a note specifying a wish to make a large donation to Friends of Chitambo, in memory of his penpal:

"Because I have wanted (ever since his untimely death) to make a substantial gift to the African (Zambian) enterprise which my pen-pal Milton Currie directed for 25 years, I want you to send a bank draft in the amount of 5000 Pounds Sterling (about $3700) to Jo Vallis.  Ask her to arrange the purchase of some piece of equipment which the hospital at Chitambo is in need of."   

Nancy Twigger agreed that much needed emergency radios would meet Bill's equipment wish and matched her father's very generous donation with one of her own. This was enough to buy 2 Motorola Very High Frequency (VHF) Digital Radios for Chitambo District.  These will make a vast difference in an area where distances and lack of communications cost lives, especially of women in childbirth.

  What a Godsend!

A heartfelt thanks to the Twiggers.  A  kinder family you could not find anywhere on this earth.

Twatotela saana mukwai (THANK YOU in ChiBemba, the language of Chitambo District)






Thanks to a powerful friendship

Agnes (pictured)  and Janet Knox, our Honorary President, were best friends. The 2 had been inseparable since school days and were famously known to say that they had 'never exchanged a cross word'. 

It must have been a real blow then, to Agnes, when Janet sadly passed away in March 2017.  If so, Agnes has presented a brave front, 'manning' the teapot at the post-funeral gathering and serving all Janet's friends and family with 'the cup that cheers'.

Her kindness certainly did not stop there and, at the funeral, she indicated that she wished to make a substantial donation to Friends of Chitambo, in Janet's memory.

Agnes, Janet's best friend
She said that she would do this at a later date and, true to her word, she telephoned FoCH Chair, Jo Vallis, requesting information about how to do so.  It was agreed that Jo would pop over to Agnes's home to pick up the check.  Jo enjoyed chatting with Agnes and hearing more about the background to the 'girls'' friendship.  She left with a substantial check to be put towards the Janet Knox Nurse Training Scholarship at Chitambo.

Agnes, we can't thank you enough.  Your generosity and kindness is overwhelming and will make a very big difference to struggling student nurses at Chitambo.  Your dear friend's memory lives on though you.


Sunday, 2 April 2017

It's official!

It's official, Friends of Chitambo has won a second round of Scottish Government Small Grant funding for our project on 'Strengthening emergency care communications in Chitambo District, central Zambia': Click here to read more
It's going to be another very busy but productive year for us!

2017 Rwanda Zambia Funding Round: Scottish Government Information Day 23rd March


Scottish Government has launched its 2017 Rwanda Zambia Funding Round:
Click here

An information day was held on Thursday 23rd March, at the City of Edinburgh Methodist Church
Click here

Dr. Alistair Allan,  Minister for International Development, opened the meeting by outlining Scotland's  new International Development Strategy.  This was followed by presentations by members of the ID team as well as the High Commissioners of Rwanda and Zambia before Lloyds TSB Foundation explained the application criteria for the new funding round.

There were workshops and networking opportunities.  See some images from the day:

Minister for International Development addresses the conference


Members of the Scottish Zambian community were in attendance 


Under the flag of our land

Zambia and Rwanda flags flying together




Thank you to Penicuik Rotary Club

As well as the very generous donations at Janet's funeral, we were also blessed recently with a giant cheque from Penicuik Rotary Club.

We were invited to an evening presentation and photoshoot at the Navaar Hotel, Penicuik.  .Jo, Richard and Gillian attended and here are the photos to prove it.





WhatsApp thank you messages were received from Zambia.  We expect these funds to go towards purchase of a further Very High Frequency (VHF) radio for one of Chitambo District's  remotest, most isolated Rural Health Clinics.

A Fond Farewell to Janet



Our Honorary President, Janet, was laid to rest on Sunday 12th March, at Rosewell Church and cemetery, Rosewell village, Midlothian, Scotland.

Despite the unseasonable snowfall, there was a massive turnout....a measure of how much Janet was loved and will be missed.

Snow on the day!


Janet's grand nephew, Sam, enabled a live video link to the funeral so that family and friends as far afield as Australia, Norway, New Zealand and Zambia, as well as many local friends,  were able to attend virtually and hear the beautiful Eulogy prepared by Janet's family and read out by the Minister who conducted the service.

Sam has since created a YouTube video so that you  can still 'be there': Click here for the video

 Janet's last wish was for the retiring collection to go to Friends of Chitambo, a typically thoughtful and generous gesture.   Her family suggested that we put a leaflet about the charity and donations process on on the church pews before the service: Click here for the leaflet
However, the snowfall put paid to that as the Friends of Chitambo party only just arrived in time.  

Even so, it seemed that the donations box was already stuffed full!  And, at the post funeral tea, friends and family were queuing up to give donations and complete gift aid envelopes.  We were overwhelmed by the generosity on the day and later when Janet's sister, Lindsay, paid another  very generous online donation into our account.  This was partly from herself and also from the Australian side of the family.  We are very grateful indeed and can't thank them all enough,  All told, Janet's farewell gift to Friends of Chitambo has been truly magnificent  and we plan to ring fence it for further Student Nurse Training Scholarships in her name: The Janet Knox Nurse Training  Scholarships.

Natotela saana mukwai (thank you) Ba Janet, we are still feeling your love.


FoCh Trustees with Janet's youngest sister, Rhona (2nd from right)

Janet's flowers





Monday, 13 March 2017

Friends of Chitambo in mourning

Friends of Chitambo is in mourning. Our Honorary President, Janet, passed away very peacefully yesterday, Sunday 12th March, at about 3pm. Our hearts are with her loving family who accompanied her all the way.

We are also heartbroken to have lost our dearest Friend. She will be sorely missed. Janet poured so much love into Friends of Chitambo. Please see this tribute to her: Click here for the tribute


Here are some photos which remind us of Janet:

Janet as a young nurse at Chitambo


Janet with Levi Chifwaila, June 2015...Bonnyrigg, Scotland


Janet with Margaret at Giovannis Bistro Penicuk..her birthday 2015

Always cheerful and alert in her battle with cancer

Saturday, 4 March 2017

A tribute to our Honorary President

Our Honorary President, Janet, remains gravely ill, but stable, in hospital.

Janet is a founder member of Friends of Chitambo and, in reflecting on her major contribution to the charity, we wish to pay tribute.  Click here


Janet and husband George celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary at Janet's hospital bedside, on Wednesday 22nd February.  Here are the wonderful photos:






Saturday, 25 February 2017

New Scottish Global Health Collaborative (SGHC) website

The Scottish Global Health Collaborative is Chaired by Dr. Catherine Calderwood, Chief Medical Officer.  Friends of Chitambo is a member.  The new website is now open: www.scottishglobalhealth.org

Please spread the word!

Scotland's Zambia Chapter

The Scottish Government has opened its  Zambia Chapter and will announce a funding round specifically for Central Province on 9th March: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/International/int-dev

The Zambian government recommended the focus on Central province, where Chitambo District is situated, due to the historic links with Scotland.  Scottish missionary/explorer, David Livingstone died at Chief Chitambo's village in the Bangwelu Swamps and Chitambo Hospital is the living memorial to him.  However, Chitambo Hospital remains shockingly under-resourced.  Scotland now recognises the significance of the historic connection, and hopefully the new focus on Zambia will help towards solving some of Chitambo Hospital's most pressing challenges.  Here is a list provided by the Chitambo District Health Management Team: Click here for a list of the top 10 challenges

They are mostly infrastructure challenges, staff housing, lack of antenatal maternity facilities, the need for hospital renovations.  Until these basic needs are solved, it will be difficult to move forward on other health improvements.

ZUKHWA meeting, Lusaka, Zambia

The Zambia UK Health Workforce Alliance ZUKHWA, is hosted by the Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.   Dr. Liz Grant, Director, and colleague Viki Tayler, are currently in Zambia exploring capacity for partnering on strengthening health professional training and research.

Our Chitambo project partners, Levi and Consider were invited to a meeting of some of Zambia's most senior nurses, at the Intercontinental Hotel, Lusaka.  Here they heard about  plans to develop a model to guide Zambian nursing services, start a mentorship program for trained nurses, and strengthen research processes.   Areas of interest included Education, Leadership, and Research.

Levi and Consider had the opportunity to report on our Scottish Government-funded Small Grant Project on 'Strengthening Emergency Care Communications in Chitambo District' and, by all accounts, they were the usual  superb ambassadors.

Here are Consider's photos from the ZUKHWA meeting:

L to R: Viki Tyler; Dr. Liz Grant

Consider with the ZUKHWA team

Friends of Chitambo Ambassador: Consider 

Meeting participants included some of Zambia's most senior nursing workforce


Click here to see a list of teh top 10 challenges

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Full circle!

Full circle! Ian Nicol, Scottish Government, reported back on his visit to Zambia at the Zambia UK Health Workforce Alliance (ZUKHWA) meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Tuesday 14th February.  This meeting was to discuss the health needs of Zambia and what Scotland can contribute. 

Ian Nicol with ZUKHWA members



The Zambian Government identified Central Province as the priority for investment and development and, after meeting with Consider in Lusaka, Ian travelled north to Kabwe to meet with Central Province leaders.  He learned that the key health priorities included road traffic accidents, trauma services and environmental health (especially disposal of clinical waste): Click here for the Times of Zambia article

Scottish Government will open a Zambia specific funding round on 9th March and this funding will be for projects in Central Province.  The Chitambo community sent their list of top 10 priorities: Click here


These are mostly building infrastructure needs.  The Zambian Government has allocated new staff to the hospital but they cannot take up post due to a lack of staff housing. 


Also, the historic hospital building, founded in 1908 as a memorial to Dr. David Livingstone who died nearby, is in desperate need of renovations.   The hospital was rebuilt in 1953, by Scottish medical missionary, Dr. John Todd.  This building has stood the test of time but  needs modernisation.




r]Rebuilding Chitambo Hospital (1953): Grandsons of Chief Chitambo laying the memorial stone








Memorial stone carved by Dr John Todd reads 'This stone was laid by the Grandsons of Chief Chitambo who welcomed Livingstone in 1873'
















Jo met members of Global Emergency Medicine (GEM:www.globalemergencyresearch.com) at the meeting.  They are working with humanitarian architects, Orkidstudio (https://orkidstudio.org/), on building a First Level hospital near Mwinilunga in North Western Province.  How wonderful if the same could be done for Chitambo?













Monday, 6 February 2017

Mr. Mudenda I presume?: Historic meeting between Scottish Government and Friends of Chitambo in Zambia

Consider, In-country Coordinator for our Scottish Government Small Grant project on strengthening emergency care communications, hosted a historic meeting in Lusaka today, with Mr. Ian Nicol from Scottish Government. 


Scottish Government is strengthening ties with Zambia and Mr. Nicol took time out of a scheduled visit to Malawi for a first historic visit to Zambia.  As Ian is Small Grant Programme Manager, this provided a valuable opportunity to update him on progress with our emergency care project and outline our hopes and expectations for our new project, should our funding application be successful.


Ian is travelling on to Kabwe today, for other business.  Unfortunately, he will not have time to reach Chitambo as hoped.  However, we hope that Levi will either manage to travel the 200 miles to Kabwe to meet him in person or, if this is impractical, at least talk to him by phone.

Ian and Consider at Prince's Mall, Makeni, Lusaka

Let's shake on it





Saturday, 4 February 2017

Friends of Chitambo's brand new Facebook page

Google Friends of Chitambo-SCIO SC044337 for our brand new Facebook page, created by our Trustee, Catriona.  Spread the word!

Scottish Government's Scotland's New International Developemnt Strategy

Scottish Government is serious about partnering with Zambia, as is apparent in the new International Development Strategy: Click here


A new Scottish Global Health Collaborative (SGHC) is being formed.  This is Chaired by the Catherine Calderwood, Chief Medical Officer and will be a cross-boundary group involving health service, third sector and academic institutions.  Friends of Chitambo SCIO has signed up to join this group.




The Collaborative aims to launch its new website quite soon.

Belated Happy New Year

A very belated Happy New Year!


We have been off to a flying start and January is just a blur!


Here are some updates:
  • Our thoughts remain very much with our Honorary President, Janet, who is gravely ill but comfortable in a community hospital near Edinburgh, Scotland.  She is receiving excellent care, remains very alert, and continues to reminisce about her nursing days at Chitambo. 
  • Chitambo Hospital has a new doctor, from the Democratic Republic of Congo
  • 3 new Scottish volunteers are seeking to join FoCh, 2 with high-powered health service backgrounds and 1 with extensive experience of fundraising, catering,events managment, and volunteering in Botswana.  They will be very welcome and some Trustees look forward to meeting them on Saturday 11th March
  • Consider has purchased solar lights, in Lusaka, with Ba Chola's kind donation.  These are for Mpelembe remote and rural health clinic where people were delivering babies by the light of mobile phones.  Hopefully the solar lights will be delivered to Levi when he attends the Zambia UK Health Workforce (ZUKHWA) meeting in Lusaka on 22nd February. 
  • Levi and Consider have been invited to attend the ZUKHWA meeting, which is organised by members of the University of Edinburgh Global Health Academy.  They will be great FoCh representatives there.
  • They will also be meeting Mr. Ian Nicol, Scottish Government Small Grant Manager, on his visit to Zambia (5th to 9th February).  Mr. Nicol will not have time to reach Chitambo but will meet Consider in Lusaka and Levi in Kabwe, as part of Scottish Government's newly launched  Scotland Zambia Programme.
  • Jo's talk to the Penicuik University of the 3rd Age (U3A), on Thursday 19th January, went down well.  The theme was Livingstone's Hospital, the Story of Chitambo.  There was a packed hall and all enjoyed learning a little chiBemba and other audience participation.  We received very kind donations which will contribute to new emergency radios for the 'hard to reach' clinics in Chitambo District. 
  • FoCh Patron, Julie Davidson, attended the U3A talk and gave a short account her book, 'Looking for Mrs. Livingstone', about David Livingstone's wife, Mary.  Julie will give a fuller talk on this, to Penicuik U3A, at a later date.
  • Jo will give a second talk to the Bilston Women's Guild on Tuesday 7th February.   Apparently there is some historical connection between Bilston Parish Church and Chitambo.  Jo will find out more and report back after the event.