The Medical Support Group in the Netherlands has supported the hospital over more than 20 years, mainly with building and renovation projects and equipment amounting to a grand total of 1,5 million Euros.
During the last face to face meeting in Scotland the hospital requested the representatives of the MSG Board to continue with the same kind of projects as before.
In 2019 the following projects were finished: Final stage roofing and renovation of walkways, Renovation of Post-natal ward, Roofing of Post-natal ward, Alteration of the Kangaroo room, Renovation of the Mn’s mess house. The MSG received this letter of appreciation.
Below the 2019 projects are listed. All projects were efficiently overseen and reported on by Mr Chungu Mutale.
Roofing of Walkways
Anyone who is familiar with the layout of St Francis Hospital knows that it comprises several pavillions interconnected by walkways. It is important that these walkways have roofs to protect patients, visitors, nurses and doctors alike from the downpours of the rainy season or the simmering heat in October-November.
The last bits of roofing have been put into place: from the main entrance to Radiology, the last stretch to the Outpatients Department and the walkway to the Mortuary. Also some maintenance activities have been performed on the existing walkways.
After the successful renovation of Mukasa ward in 2018, the hospital management requested to also renovate the Post Natal ward Bethlehem. This however was far more complicated than anticipated since the roof was in a very poor state and had to be completely renewed. The presence of asbestos in the old roof complicated matters.
Also, at the suggestion of Dr Irene de Vries (who worked as a doctor at St Francis four years ago) an extension was built to create a so called Kangaroo room. In Kangaroo Mother Care the mother holds the newborn baby on her chest covered by a blanket or chitenge, which promotes the well being and growth of the (premature) baby. This practice is promoted by the Ministry of Health.
The renovation of Bethlehem and the building of the Kangaroo room were divided into three projects that were tendered separately.
New staff house
Sufficient staff accommodation is of the utmost importance to St Francis’ Hospital. Foreign doctors come to help out, often on a voluntary basis. Medical students choose to do their electives at St Francis’ at a certain rate, thus generating income for the hospital. They all need a place to stay.
If there is no room to house them, this process stagnates.
The management urgently requested to renovate the Men’s Mess, where the young Zambian doctors live.
Considering the state of the building is was decided to tear it down and to build form scratch. The building stagnated due to heavy rainfall and was completed in March 2020.
Training Namushi Kalumbi.
Mid 2017 MSG agreed to finance Namushi Kalumbi’s follow-up study to specialize as a Children’s Nurse. She started her training in September 2018 in Lilongwe. Unfortunately later in the year it transpired that the Kamuzi College was going to nearly double the fee. So there was not enough money to continue. But since Namushi’s results were very good and she regularly reported on her progress, MSG sent the money that was short at the end of November to allow her to stay. The board will try to find a sponsor to finance her final term.