Namushi Kalumbi is back at Ketete and keeps us posted about the Covid-19 situation.
On May 3rd partners discussed the Covid-19 situation in an online Zoom meeting.
The management of St Francis’ Hospital Dr Lalick Banda, Mr Fred Ntongwe, Mrs Judith Mumba and Robert Banda were present. Brian Magowan of the Logie Legacy chaired the meeting. Others present:
Logie Legacy: Chris Faldon, Alison Aitken en Lorraine Wilson.
Border Hospital: Ralph Roberts .
Friends of SFH: Andrew Cairns.
500 Miles: Olivia Giles.
SFH Medical Support Group: Peter Sleutelberg en Arlet Splint.
Also present: John Western, Tim Legge, Chloe Hunter, Chris Jary, Mike Chudlei.
Reason for the meeting: Covid-19 and its consequences for the hospital.
As yet the virus has not reached the Easter Province. In order to be prepared the MoH visited the hospital for inspection, established a protocol, and supplied the hospital with tests and disinfectant. PPE was promised but has not materialised. The Friends and MSG donated money to purchase PPE locally.
Four members of the management team are appointed crisis managers. The procedure is as follows: A patient complaining about symptoms consistent with Covid-19 is tested, isolated and transported by staff (with PPE!) to Mpangwe Motel for isolation. Definite outcome of the test has to come form Lusaka.
Zambia is not in a complete lockdown, but it the public is advised not to travel. Church services and other meetings are forbidden.
Shops, markets, clinics and hospitals provide water and soap to wash hands.
No visitors are allowed in the hospital, with the exception of the relatives of the seriously ill. The Chada is open, mainly for relatives of the waiters who provide extra food for them. The food is handed over at the main entrance. Planned procedures have come to a standstill, but OPD and Maternity are still busy, in spite of the fact that there is an enormous shortage of doctors and nurses. Dr Banda is hoping that volunteers will return in the autumn.
The nursing school is closed, student nurses have gone home.
Consequences for the projects
Olivia Giles mentions that her plan to send children to Lusaka for getting their prosthesis has to be postponed.
Peter Sleutelberg informs those present that the planned building and refurbishment projects of 2019 are finished. In accordance with the management the building of a new Physiotherapy building as wel as the refurbishment of the Pharmacy will be started up soon. The Dutch NGO Wilde Ganzen (Wild Geese) will co-finance this project. These are all 2020 projects.
Tim Legge is trying to raise money for a new generator. He has sent face masks for the waiters and sent money for an autoclave at Msoro Clinic.
Andrew Cairns had planned to leave for Zambia on Easter Monday, which of course he didn’t. However, his Oxygen Plant Project goes well, the plant has been ordered and should be at St Francis’ later in the year. He also is trying to raise money for the generator. The water supply at the hospital still poses a problem – very disappointing for John Western and the Logy Legacy who, some years ago, were instrumental in a big Water Project. However, the water in the compound is now metered and people are paying for their water, but ZESCO proves to be a poor supplier.
In all it was a pleasant meeting albeit that some of the participants were difficult to hear, but with the help of chairman Brian Magowan their points were made. A new meeting is considered useful by all and will be planned in the near future.
Due to the Covid-19 virus all expatriate doctors and medical students have returned to their home country. There is no Covid-19 in the hospital as yet, but the hospital management is preparing for a possible outbreak. Friend of St Francis (UK) have made money available to buy PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
On Sunday, 3 May, partners form UK, Scotland and the Netherlands will discuss the situation with the hospital management in a Zoom meeting.