NHS Borders and Logie legacy raise fund to help Zambian hospital

NHS Borders is aiming to raise £10,000 to pay for a new water supply and vital PPE equipment for a hospital in Zambia.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 29th May 2020, 1:27 pm
St Francis’ Hospital is in urgent need of a new water supply and PPE equipment to protect its medical staff.
St Francis’ Hospital is in urgent need of a new water supply and PPE equipment to protect its medical staff.

The health board is working with The Logie Legacy, a Scottish charity set up in the memory of the late Dr Sandy Logie, a retired Borders doctor who contracted HIV via a needlestick injury while volunteering at a Zambian mission hospital.

The charity has been supporting the formal twinning link between St Francis’ Hospital in Zambia and NHS Borders since 2008.

St Francis’ is a busy general hospital with 360 beds for an immediate population of 180,000 and is also the referral hospital for 1.5 million people living in the Eastern Province – an area the size of Scotland.

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Together The Logie Legacy and NHS Borders have been involved with projects in maternity, paediatrics, physiotherapy, HIV, sexual health, pharmacy, public health, ophthalmology, radiology and tuberculosis (TB) control.

They also have links with the Nursing and Midwifery School which is attached to the hospital.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, staff at St Francis’ Hospital have been trying to prepare for the probability of the virus hitting rural Zambia. While they have done all they can, staff are appealing for help with two essential issues.

The hospital does not have mains water supply, relying instead on its own groundwater boreholes.

Water shortage is now affecting a range of critical services making the simplest infection control measures such as hand washing increasingly difficult.

To resolve this and establish a new water supply they need to drill a new borehole.

Additionally, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for hospital and community staff is urgently needed as the coronavirus advances through Africa, including Zambia.

Creating a new water supply and getting these PPE stocks will cost around £10,000.

NHS Borders is keen to support this and help to raise this money to make sure that staff at St Francis’ Hospital get what they need to save lives.

Dr Brian McGowan, Chair of The Logie Legacy and consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at NHS Borders, said: “Life is hard for many Zambians, with over 60 per cent of the country lives in poverty.

“Hospitals are underfunded and have a shortage of skilled staff, St Francis’ included. They do a superb job with their limited resources, but every extra bit of help can make a huge difference.

“Therefore it is vital during this pandemic that we band together and provide the aid they so desperately need in order to protect and save lives.”

Ralph Roberts, NHS Borders chief executive at NHS Borders, added: “As we are all aware the NHS has received amazing community support over the last few months.

“NHS Borders and The Logie Legacy are committed to supporting St Francis’ Hospital in the same way at this particularly challenging time.

“If anyone is in a position to make a donation it would be massively appreciated.”

Anyone who would like to donate can do so by visiting www.justgiving.com/campaign/TheLogieLegacy