Please help to set up the Gym!

At St Francis Hospital a new Physio Department has been built.  The hospital management, seconded by Project Liaison Officer Ms Rachaeal Nakasunda, aims at opening paid Gym facilities to staff and general public in order to promote health, but also to generate funds to alleviate financial shortages that the hospital faces on a yearly basis due to the limited government support for church hospitals. This is one of the income generating projects to make the hospital less dependent on the limited government grant and foreign donors.
Please support the hospital on the way to a sustainable financial independence!

Read here about the Rationale of the project, drawn up by Ms Rachaeal Nakasunda.

The fitness industry in Zambia has experienced growth over the last few years. This is evident in the number of gyms and fitness related events such as Zambia day of fitness and many others. The growth of the fitness as a trend and lifestyle choice has been heavily influenced by the growth of the trend globally. Fitness for most people in Zambia is closely associated with aerobics movement. Aerobics gained popularity through the efforts of various trainers and fitness enthusiast training groups of people in open spaces with large speakers blasting their most energetic beats. This lead to the wider population feeling like fitness is an activity they can incorporate into their lives. The former President also contributed to the fitness movement by doing a 10 kilometer run every weekend throughout towns and cities around the country in a bead to inspire the country to stop dying from non-commutable diseases.

Another phenomenon that’s inspiring working out and exercise is weight loss and maintenance. Many doctors and researchers have pointed out that exercise is one of the main ways to lose and maintain weight and is key improving your health. It can reduce your risk of certain conditions, such as heart disease and type 2diabetes. It can lower the blood pressure and total cholesterol level. It also can relieve symptoms and prevent injuries related to being overweight.

Therefore, the hospital decided to introduce the gym services in the District as a response to the overwhelming demand for such services in the District. This will be the first gym to have been established in Katete.

Apart from providing the health benefits to the community of Katete and beyond, the gym will also provide the financial resources that are required to sustainably contribute to the provisions of health services at the hospital.

The construction of the gym has been completed. The gym was part of the Physiotherapy building which was constructed with the generous financial support from the Medical Support Group of Netherlands.

However, the equipment for the gym was not part of the package for the project and will have to be sourced separately.

A total amount of ZMK 396,140. 00 is required to set up a Gym.

The required amount equals about € 20.000,- or £ 19.000. Please donate: NL28INGB0003022230 citing ‘Gym Project’.
With an eye to transparancy you may read the whole Project Plan here.

‘Minga is our sister hospital’

‘Minga is our sister hospital’ – this is how Dr Banda reacted when asked to assist in a major project for Minga Hospital.
The Dutch charity, Friends of Minga, is going to  be liquidated shortly and has sought the cooperation of the St Francis Hospital Medical Support Group (also in the Netherlands) to realise its final project: the renovation of Male Ward at the urgent request of Sr Asperanza of Minga Hospital.
Now that Dr Banda has agreed to St Francis’ being Project Owner on behalf of Minga, a lot of practical problems are solved. The project will be overseen by the experienced SFH Project Manager, Mr Chungu Mutale, and also project reports and finances are dealt with by SFH management.
Sr Asperanza is extremely happy with this urgently needed renovation and also the people of Minga have shown their gratitude by offering eggs, flour and other foodstuffs to the hospital.

The work is done by the Zambian contractor Top Firm.

Update on quadruplets

From Mr Fred Ntongwe, Senior Hospital Administrator and ward of the St Francis’ born quadruplets, we received an update for all of you who so generously donated to support the family.
As we know two of the babies did not survive, but the other two, Dalitso and Elesiya, are thriving.

The family is visited on a regular basis if an outreach vehicle and driver is available, but since the children have grown they can travel to the hospital.
The babies get their health checked and the family receive their provisions.



President Lungu praises SFH

President of the Republic of Zambia, Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu praised St. Francis Hospital for its positive contribution to delivery of health services in Zambia. The President said the hospital has been attending to patients not only in Eastern Province but also receives patients from outside the Province and also from the neighbouring country Mozambique.
‘The hospital had been a pride of the nation for the past 73 years with the uniqueness in the provisions of the health care to the most vulnerable members of the community’.

The President said this during the Silver Jubilee celebration of the establishment of the Anglican Diocese of Eastern Zambia and the commissioning of Bishop John Osmers House at St. Paul’s Church in Chipata on the 25th April,2021. The President visited the stands where the healing and social ministries of the Church were displayed before attending the Eucharistic mass. The head of state attended Eucharistic mass at St Paul’s Anglican Church in Chipata where he commissioned the Bishop John Osmers House.

Bishop Osmers, who died 16 june 2021, was able to witness the commissioning of the Diocesan Centre, the ‘Bishop John Osmers House’ by President Edgar Lungu and gave a speech which proved to be his farewell to the Diocese, in front of people from all around Eastern Province, other parts of the country and Malawi.

This news is an item in the St Francis Hospital April/June Bulletin, which you can download here.

SFH Bulletin June 2021

Here you can download the SFH Bulletin, the issue of June 2021. First of all a message of Dr. Lalick Banda, thanking all partners and the Zambian Ministery of Health for their support in these difficult times.
Good news is that the oxygen plant is in operation. Oxygen is piped to the mayor wards, other wards are to follow. The hospital is extremely grateful to the organizations and individuals who made this come true: Friends of St Francis Hospital (UK), Pylos Zambia, Mr Charles Mkokweza, Mr Wilson Sumaili, Build it International, Mr Chibesa Chitangala, Sable Contruction, Mr Chikwanda, Muslim Association (Katete and Chipata Districts).

Sad news is that Bishop John Osmers died in Lusaka on 16 June 2021. He was consecrated as a first Bishop of the Anglican Eastern Diocese in 1995. For over 20 years the bishop was involved in helping refugees and promoting tertiary education in medical and educational fields. In the months before his death Bishop Osmers urged the people to ignore the myths that were being spread about the vaccine against Covid-19 and urged people to go and get the jab.
Download the SFH Bulletin here.



MSG project Physio Department finished

Beginning of June 2021 Mr Chungu Mutale, project manager of St Francis’ Hospital sent in his final report on the MSG project ‘Renovation/rebuilding of the Physiotherapy Block’.
The Zambia contractor, Top Firm, did an excellent job. The project was finished well within time and budget. The close cooperation between the project manager of St Francis Hospital, Top Firm (Zambia), MSG and Wild Geese (Netherlands) has yielded this wonderful result as shown in the photographs below. The only thing left to be done is cleaning and clearing the building site.








exercise room






Interior 1






Interior 2

Third Wave in Zambia?

Ms Chaze Sibamba, Social Worker at St Francis’ Hospital reports:
“Katete is fine and the weather is getting cold now, with the change in weather there have been reports on national TV that the covid cases are also increasing. Our worry and fear is that a third wave is imminent which reportedly is more serious.
We are being reminded to sanitize and mask up all the time. As a country we received the Astra Zeneca vaccine.
Health workers are the first to be considered for vaccination.
As St Francis we were given about 1000 jabs which was meant to cater for the students as well as members of staff, but very few – only about 60 members of staff out of 600 – had volunteered to get the vaccine.
About 150 that got the vaccine were people that came in from the general public. With the students there was also a very low turn out; less than 80 got the jab.In Zambia many people have there own misconceptions concerning the future side effects associated with the covid vaccines and probably that may have contributed to the low turn out of people getting it.
Later on government decided that all the vaccines be withdrawn from the facilities and rather leave the exact numbers for those that got the first vaccination, which leaves us unsure whether in future the government will bring in other vaccines for people that never received. The strategy that they have put in place in your country for self test is a very good one, its a good way of quickly going into self quarantine and probably a hopeful solution in reducing the spread of covid.”

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.