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HHI visit to Zambia part 2

We’ve now had Jute’s reflections on the first part of her odyssey.

25th October -Arrived in Lusaka with all the medical items in cases complete. John Phiri [who HHI put through medical school] arrived at the airport and thanks to the loan of a Zambian phone with Zambian chip from Deana, I managed to contact him. I also sent Carole a message to say I had arrived.

I stayed in ‘Esteem Resorts’ for one night while John stayed with his brother who lives in Lusaka.
Esteem has air conditioning (sometimes), WiFi, water and breakfast. Cornflakes with hot milk! No water shortages in Lusaka.

Evening meal with John and his brother, Evan (very Cymraeg) in restaurant – Indian / Lebanese food and pizzas all served in the same place. £20 for three meals and water.

Discussions with John about the newVubwi hospital.
Vubwi Hospital.
• Built by Chinese,
• One new Congolese doctor appointed- remaining staff will be clinical officers.
• No oxygen online – all appliances needing oxygen will plug into cylinders.
• Contracts given to Chinese by Zambian Government because they complete work on time and at cheaper rates than any other bids.
26th Oct -Travelled to Chipata. 7 hours’ drive through Lusaka Province into Eastern Province through Katete and arrived at John’s home by 21.00. John’s wife and family delightful. (Martha, Wala, Norah and Faith or Tailo). Received ‘Zambian Welcome Cake.’

Discussed CPAP options with Dr Martha Phiri / Nampungwe. She will discuss with her staff; she has the received the information we received from Global Health and seemed excited by our involvement.

She explained that there is a huge lack of resources in her hospital where she is the main paediatrician.

27th Oct – Chipata Central Hospital.
Involved with training students.
• General ward
• Baby room
• Malnutrition ward
• KMC ward (Kangaroo Mother Care)
• Neonatal Ward needs to expand. Presently accommodates 20 patients.
But babies share incubators, babies share cots.
I couldn’t take any more pictures until I had director’s clearance. He was not available as he was in meetings – we did try to connect with him twice.

The hospital is pretty basic, but good things are happening. John did many successful operations there in his time.

28th October

Two hour drive to Vubwi district hospital (60 km) from Chipata. Awful bumpy, lengthy drive because of appalling road. The road is due to be tarmacked in due course. John does this drive twice a day! I wouldn’t expect the health authority vehicle to last long on the very rough terrain.

John has an office in the Central Offices of Vubwi District Health department. People involved in setting up this new hospital are all sharing office space – administrators, health, so many people of which it is difficult to recall all their names and positions.

Two people stand out in the crowd of officials –
Moses Njobvu- Procurement Officer. He buys hospital equipment from Lusaka from Madehold GE and Dregga? (German company). We could compare prices with him (cc John) before we buy future equipment if necessary.

Dr Patrick Musoz -Newly appointed doctor for Vubwi hospital. Congolese. He will alert Dr Phiri to any needs when the patients start arriving. Pictures taken and receipt for the defibrillators and nebulisers received from Moses.

Travelled a little further with various people to hospital. It is not finished – waiting for final bits of funding from Zambian Government to be released. Each stage needs to be signed off before the next shot of money is released. John is optimistic that it will complete by January 2020.

Main reception area completed and many side rooms but no wards as such. These will come in next phase. There was no evidence of any special ports on the walls, just electrical power points. When I suggested to all the officials that the new hospital should include solar panels as the electricity is so intermittent they all nodded in agreement and said, ‘this is a good idea’.

The hospital consists of two buildings. One has the main entrance and reception/ waiting area and what, I assume, will be treatment cubicles. The other building is the administration block. Gave John and Martha details and contact information about Raspberry Pi from Howard and Wendy for the use in clinics. He seemed very interested.

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