In December 2020 the SFH Annual Report 2019 was published. Those interested can download it here.
“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.”
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.”
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.
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 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.
On September 4th we received the following update of Mrs Judith Mumba about the situation at St Francis’ Hospital:
St Francis’ Hospital Scottish partner, the Logie Lagacy, has started a fundraising campaign for personal protective equipment for the hospital as well as drilling another borehole to ensure a safe water supply. Help them to reach their target: 10,000 pounds is needed.
The hospital does not have mains water supply. It relies on it’s own groundwater boreholes. Water shortage is now affecting a range of critical services; clinical, domestic, laundry, kitchen and sanitation. Even the simplest infection control measure such as hand washing will become increasingly difficult. They need to drill a new borehole.
At the same time, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for hospital and community staff is urgently needed as the spread of Coronavirus advances throughout the continent of Africa, including Zambia. It is already present in urban areas. There are cases in Lusaka, the capital, and it is only a matter of time before cases increase throughout rural areas such as Katete and St Francis Hospital. Having PPE can significantly reduce infection rates and keep staff and patients safe. They lack funds to buy PPE supplies.
About the Logie Legacy:
The St Francis Hospital (SFH) Twinning Partnership with NHS Borders was formally founded in 2008 through the hard work and dedication of Dr’s Sandy and Dorothy Logie. Located in the remote Eastern Province, SFH is Zambia’s largest mission hospital & our UK volunteers support in various ways.
Charity Registration No. SC047148
On 6 June 2020: nearly 1,500 pounds donated! Click here and go to Just Giving to also contribute to a safe working environment and safe water!
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.