Oxygen plant at St Francis’ Hospital

Mr Andrew Cairns of the Friends of St Francis’ Katete Charitable Trust reports on 18 february 2021 that the oxygen plant has now arrived at St Francis’ Hospital.  The plant is located between York Ward, Theatre and the Laboratory.  The building to house the plant is under construction. Mr Cairns wishes to thank everybody who kindly donated towards this project.
The Friends of St Francis’ are now trying to raise funds to pipe oxygen to the wards and also to provide the plant with an uninterruptible power supply.

Most of the electrical power in Zambia is provided by hydro-electricity principally from Lake Kariba, Kafue Gorge and the Luapula River.  Towards the end of the dry and at the beginning of the wet seasons (the dry season is normally from March to October), water levels dwindle – reducing capacity.  With a growing population, there is not enough power to go around and therefore power cuts are the norm.  Whilst the hospital has two rather old electricity generators that run on diesel during the power cuts, they are very expensive to run.  Zambia has an abundance of sunlight so it is logical to consider solar energy to power the oxygen plant.
If you would like to make a donation to pipe oxygen to the wards and for solar energy for the oxygen plant, please click here: donate.  As the Friends of St Francis Katete is a Charitable Trust, UK tax-payers can Gift Aid the donation.  If this applies to you, please tick the relevant box when making the donation.

Logie Legacy: for a closer working relationship with partners

The Logie Legacy has secured a a capacity building Scottish Government grant to explore how our partnership with the hospital has functioned over the years with a view to learning lessons from the past and to strengthen their engagement going forward. An important element in the contribution of the Logie Legacy has been to foster closer relationships with other partners involved with St Francis Hospital. A highlight was the European Partners weekend back in November 2019 with a follow up Zoom meeting in May last year. Some excellent ideas emerged from these events. The Logie Legacy proposes to hold another Zoom Meeting – possibly in April 2021.

Informal discussion at the partners’ meeting in Scotland

New: SFH Monthly bulletin – read here!

Message from the Superintendent Dr Lalick Banda:
“Welcome to the first monthly bulletin for St Francis’ Hospital. It is my sincere hope that through this monthly bulletin we will be able to share with our colleagues and partners the various developmental milestones at the hospital, our aspirations and the challenges we are facing as an institution.

Download the bulletin here.

Part of the hospital management in a meeting

Management addressing the staff

Annual Report 2019

In December 2020 the SFH Annual Report 2019 was published. Those interested can download it here.

Update on Covid-19 situation

Ms Chaze Sisamba, Social Worker, reports

Ms Chaze Sibamba, Social Worker at St Francis’ Hospital reports:
“More measures have been put in place, handwashing points have been put around the hospital and at the Main Entrance, all clients coming in the hospital have to go through the triage shelter which is just somewhere outside, where they are asked of any history of travel and other questions related to covid. The guards at the entrance always have boxes for the face masks, given to all clients entering the hospital.
Bedsiders are not allowed in the wards to avoid congestions, only one person is allowed but are also adivised to stay outside the ward and only enter when needed. They not allowed to bring children.

Testing was mandatory but now the government changed the system to only test individuals with suspected symptoms. So now at OPD there room 9 tis being used for swabbing and testing clients. Room 6 is being used as a holding room for clients that do not look too stable.. If the condition is bad the District Office is informed, who then evacuate the patient to Kalindawalo Isolation center.
The stable clients are given treatment and then sent home to self isolate. The positive thing is that the number of days for isolation was reduced from 14 days to only 5 days. After 5 days one is required to come back for a re-test, if positive again another 5 days of quarantaine is obligatory. I feel the decision was brought to reduce the shortages.
Students from the nursing school are back, so they are actually assisting a lot at the wards.

The schools date of opening was delayed by 2 weeks from 18th January to 1st February. This was after the president directed that all schools must put covid preventive measures in place, and yesterday on ZNBC news the media went to schools to check if all was in place. From my observation and what was being reported it seems most schools had prepared well.”

RIP Mr Bruno Mwale

Since the Covid-19 situation deteriorated many more Zambians caught the disease, among whom Bruno Mwale, Senior Public Healthy Officer at St Francis’ Hospital since 2011. Our sincere condolences go to his family, relatives and friends. May he rest in Peace.

Ms Chaze Sibamba, Social Worker at St Francis’ Hospital:
“In spite of the fact that mr Mwale was refered to Kalindawalo isolation center in Petauke and was taken there by ambulance, he unfortunately passed Sunday mid mornings. Its really a big loss for the hospital and quite sad.”

Covid situation getting worse

Chaze Sibamba, Social Welfare Officer at SFH, reports on 22 January 2021:
“The last number of cases announced in the clinical meeting was over 80; doctors, nurses, and other workers at the hospital had tested positive.
Thankfully enough a good number recovered, tested negative and they have been reporting back for work.
At St Francis unfortunately we don’t have a covid isolation ward, critical cases are still being reffered to Petauke to Kalindawalo Hospital.

So far 5 patients from Katete were taken to Petauke. Among them is a member of staff at SFH, his condition was not too good and they had to refer him in an ambulance.
The second wave here in Zambia has taken away so many lives it’s really sad and scary, we only hope the vaccine will help, although there has been a lot of misconception over the vaccine. Some fear it’s not safe that it comes with a lot of bad effects..
And a lot of sensitisation will need to be done by the government to help people understand.

It’s also sad that up to now here in Katete people are still not masking up, especially in the markets. However, in the shops a lot of effort has been made to advise people to mask up.”

So far this not too good news from Chaze Sibamba in her report to MSG.

RIP Dr Joop Jansen

On 16th December, at 11 in the morning, Dr Joop Jansen died at the age of 67, only a couple of days after he returned home from Katete, Zambia.
Joop Jansen suffered from an incurable cancer. He accepted his fate with admirable resignation. Faithful friends lovingly cared for him during his last days and he was able and strong enough to see his children to bid them a final goodbye.

Joop Jansen came to Katete with a mountain of experience. He had worked in Africa for over 30 years: in Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia (west Zambia and Minga, Eastern Province).

‘Doctor Joop’ as everybody called him, cared for his patients, worked hard and was a very able doctor, especially in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology.
He moved mountains.
He made a professionally important step by training with Dr Tom Raassen, an expert surgeon in the field of VVF (Vesicovaginal Fistula) surgery – a complicated procedure to repair the urogenital fistula. This is a devastating condition due to an abnormal connection between the urinary and genital tracts, a severe physical trauma following abnormal heavy labour and always leading to social stigma and isolation.
Joop Jansen introduced the ‘VVF-camps’. Women, suffering from this trauma and who were consequently leading ‘hidden’ lives, were called upon on radio to come to the hospital to undergo surgery. Many of them were thus given a second life.

Joop Jansen was also, from 2009 till 2015 chairman of Chaz, (Churches Health Organisation of Zambia, umbrella organization for the Mission Based Hospitals in Zambia ), and in this capacity he did a lot for the health care in mission hospitals.

Joop Jansen lived the good life, he liked to cook and eat and chat. When his Dutch compatriots of the Medical Support Group visited, they could count on a big meal that Joop had diligently prepared in his small kitchen, or else, at the end of a long working day, they would receive a text message what about a beer? and then would sit for hours at Tikondane bar.
Throughout the years Joop Jansen was the continuous factor, for the Dutch Medical Support group and for St Francis’ Hospital. Expatriate doctors came and went. Doctor Joop stayed.

The death of Dr Joop Jansen saddened us, board members of MSG, greatly. But for all those depending on adequate medical care at St Francis’ his decease is a sore blow.
Thank you ever so much, zikomo kwambiri doctor Joop. Rest in peace.


Book of Condolences



A Book of Condolences was opened by the Hospital Management for staff and friends in honour of Dr. Joop.

Zambia among six safest places to travel

Zambia is among the six safest places to travel during Covid-19 Pandemic
An international travel organization has named Zambia among six safest travel destinations in world, and the only one in Africa so far to receive the recognition.

Zambia is the fourth safest tourism destination ahead of Uruguay and Saudi Arabia while Australia, New Zealand and Singapore are the top three respectively, according to an article published on the Wego Travel Blog website, entitled “Safe Places to Travel During Covid-19 Pandemic.”
The ranking is based on the standards of the European Union countries to coordinate travel restrictions, according to information shared by Huzaifa Jada, a representative of the Zambian mission in Riyadh. Of the 70 countries with sufficient data and testing, only six were ranked as “Safe” for travel.
The classification was based on epidemiological criteria, regarding the ability of countries to contain the pandemic, achieve stability over a long period of time, and the efficiency of the health system, particularly, the clinical capacity for intensive care rooms and efficiency medical staff.
Australia topped the results of the tests in terms of positive coronavirus swabs conducted on 1.693 per million people, with 0.0% of 0.5 new cases per million people.
New Zealand ranked second with 1,365 tests per million inhabitants, with 1% of 0.8 million new cases per million inhabitants. Singapore came third with 4,491 tests per million people, 0.0%, out of 1.3 new cases per million people.
Zambia ranked fourth with 264 examinations per million people, with 0.7% of new cases per million people. Cuba followed in fifth place with 774 examinations per million inhabitants, with 0.4% of 3.5 new cases per million inhabitants.
Saudi Arabia has conducted more than 1.5 million laboratory tests for coronavirus, of which 0.6% are positive samples out of 8.8 new cases per million people.
The Wego data had last been updated on November 27 at the time this article was published.

Judith Mumba reports

On September 4th we received the following update of Mrs Judith Mumba about the situation at St Francis’ Hospital:

“The Covid 19 situation here remains the same, with some positives being recorded every day, especially in Lusaka and the Copperbelt. St Francis recorded one positive who was visiting Katete then came to the hospital. By the time we got the positive result she had already traveled back, but all staff were swabbed and are waiting for results. None have fallen ill so far. It has been made mandatory to wear masks in public places.
We have continued with the same precautions of no visitors, bed siders only for critically ill patients. Every one entering the hospital is screened for any obvious symptoms. We still don’t have students on the wards so the workload is sometimes too much, especially for the surgical wards. The only students in school are those writing exams in Nov/Dec 2020.
At the moment we are alright with supplies for Covid 19 prevention due to the fact that the funding from the government has been regular.
The Social Worker’s name is Chaze Sibamba. As far as I know she has not been involved with the quads as yet. I have asked Fred to send you a report. There has not been a recent visit to the family.*
The only muzungu doctors are Dr Lisa in OBGY from the Netherlands and Dr Rikki, Anaesthesiologist.”
*There has been contact by phone with the family and Fred Ntongwe. The family is well and so are the two babies.