RIP Namushi Samutumwa

On May 25 Namushi Samutumwa died. She had been feeling unwell and returned to Katete from Lilongwe, Malawi, where she had only just finished her studies at Kamuzu College of Nursing (University of Malawi). She was operated on in the hospital, but sadly her condition was too serious.
She died in the Intensive Care Unit, only a couple of days after her return to Katete. She leaves behind her husband, Mr Hillam Kalumbi, engineer at the hospital, and five children, the youngest being only five years old. Our heartfelt condolences are for Hillam and the children.

Namushi Samutumwa Kalumbi had been working as a nurse at St Francis’ since January 2005.  At the instigation of Dr Lalick Banda, MSI of St Francis’ Hospital, she decided to do a Bachelor of Science in Child Health Nursing. The Medical Support Group of the Netherlands supported her during her training.
She started her training in November 2018. Although life in Malawi, away from husband and children was not always easy for her, she managed to obtain excellent results.
During her holidays she hardly took time off, and worked normal shifts at the Children’s Ward.

In March 2020 the Kamuzu College in Malawi closed because of Covid-19, and Namushi returned to Katete. She again resumed work at the Children’s Ward and followed lessons and did her exams online, which was not easy because of the erratic power supply at Katete. Only in September 2020 could she go back to college. However, she managed to finish her thesis on time and handed it in. The sad thing is that she worked so hard and was so very, very near to her goal.

All of the hospital staff and MSG who funded her studies sincerely regret the passing of such a talented and hard working lady. Rest in Peace, dear Namushi.


Oxygen plant and solar power – please donate!

Both projects Oxygen plant and Solar power have made serious progress. Mr Andrew Cairns, Hon Treasurer/Trustee of the Friends of St Francis’ Hospital (FOSFKCT – Charity Regd no: 284717 ) reports:

‘The Oxygen Plant arrived at St Francis Hospital earlier this year and we have now paid for the gas’s distribution to the Intensive Care Unit, the Labour Wards, the Caesar Theatre, Special Care Baby Unit and the Children’s Ward. We expect this to be installed shortly. Oxygen is already being piped to the main Theatre Block.
We are in the process of acquiring oxygen cylinders and individual trolleys to supply the General and Surgical wards and have now appointed contractors to install a solar array and associated equipment primarily to power the Oxygen Plant.
It is hoped that this equipment will not only provide sufficient power to run the Oxygen Plant, but also to charge batteries for night-time power and to light the entire hospital during the day.  It is also hoped that the batteries will also be able to provide light to the critical areas at night.’

Mr Cairns thanks those who have already donated towards this project. Once the entire system is operational, many lives will be saved.
But: More is needed to complete this project. If you would like to make a donation towards this project, please follow the link by clicking here and go to the donation page.  For those of you who are UK resident and taxpayers, you can gift aid your contribution by clicking the appropriate box, increasing the value of your gift by 25%. If an appropriate declarations needed, donors will receive an email attaching a declaration for signature and return.
For more information about these projects you can contact FOSH: andrew[at] *

*To avoid spam Andrew Cairns’ email address has no direct link. Copy the address and replace [at] by the usual @ and send a mail to Mr Cairns.


Robert Bleichrodt Burns Unit

Prof Dr Robert Bleichrodt, an eminent surgeon from the Netherlands, has worked at St Francis’ Hospital for years before his final retirement as a doctor. During his stay at the hospital he initiated the building of a Burns Unit where the complicated treatment of (major) burns can take place safely (infection is one of the greatest risks). While working in Zambia he motivated his colleagues in the Netherlands to donate and sought the help of The Medical support group of SFH (SFH-MSG). The completely rebuilt and fully equipped Burns Unit is now managed by a Zambian medical team chaired by Dr Kumwenda who is the head of the Surgical Department.
The SFH Management honoured Dr Bleichrodt by naming the department after him: the Robert Bleichrodt Burns Unit.

Partners meeting 2nd May

On May 2 a partners’ meeting was held via Zoom. 18 members of various partners in Scotland, England and the Netherlands joined in, listened to and actually saw the presentation of Dr Lalick Banda. The aim of the meeting was to establish how partners can join efforts, for example in the field of fundraising, and to create awareness about each others projects in order to be of better service to the hospital.
Participants in the meeting: St Francis’ Hospital Management (Lalick Banda and Fred Ntongwe), Christian Aware Team, Logie Legacy, Friends of St Francis’ Hospital, SFH Medical Support Group.
The meeting started at 10.00 AM and ended 12.15 PM. Participants found it very useful and decided to Zoom-meet again in 6 months time.