Category Archives: Latest News

FESTIVE SEASON IN PICTURES

By Sepo Mwikisa and Natalie Mashikolo

The coming of Christmas and New year’s is a time of thanksgiving and exchanging of gifts. The patients at the University Teaching Hospital were not left out during this season as many organizations and individuals showed up to spread good cheer and share what they had.

FESTIVE SEASON

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PAPER MAKING A DIFFERENCE

By Sepo Mwikisa and Natalie Mashikolo

Paper when put to good use can be very beneficial to society. This is the case with Appropriate Paper Technology (APTERS) an organization encompassed on the grounds of the University Teaching Hospital (UTH).

Designed to benefit children with Cerebral Palsy, APTERS uses all sorts of paper to manufacture equipment that helps rehabilitate children. The furniture ranging from standing frames, walkers and special chairs is provided at a minimum fee or free of charge depending on the economic status of the family acquiring it.

The majority of the children are assessed in Clinic 2 at UTH and doctors then make a request in accordance with the child’s needs.

APTERS 1

Peter a pupil at UTH Special is one of the many children able to access help from APTERS

In order to keep up with the growing demands for these devices, APTERS has embarked on an extension program. This will allow the staff to assess the children in a conducive environment which can now provide privacy and dignity for its patients as opposed to the previous scenario where children were assessed in an open area.

The staff have also dedicated Wednesdays for measurements and fittings. Previously there was no set date which made it difficult for families from faraway places to access their services.

paper

With the help of APTERS, children who come to UTH for physiotherapy are able to continue their rehabilitation at home as the devices provided are used in their homes.

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In order to continue catering for the needs of families that cannot afford these devices, the organization took the initiative to make piggy banks, toy boxes, office trays and other assorted items from paper. These items are sold and all the proceeds are used to make more devices.

APTERS Director Mr. Kenneth Habaalu acknowledged the donations received from various embassies and companies in the transport sector such as Proflight and Mazhandu that ferry the devices to families in faraway places at no cost. This is of extreme importance as the organization is only located in Lusaka and also caters for the needs of people from other regions.

APTERS 2

APTERS Director Mr. Kenneth Habaalu

ZACCAF LENDS A HAND

By Sepo Mwikisa

Haemophilia is a rare blood disorder in which the blood does not clot normally due to lack of factor 8 in it. It is usually inherited and can lead to excessive bleeding if the condition is severe.

Zambia has not been spared from this disorder and that is the reason that non- profit organizations’ such as the Zambian Childhood Cancer Foundation (ZACCAF) and one of their affiliates the Hemophilia   Foundation of Zambia (HFZ) have stepped in to offer assistance for children that not only suffer from cancer but other blood related disorders such as this one.

ZACCAF 1

ZACCAF Secretary Mr. Maurice Muchinda (left) and UTH Paediatrics Acting Clinical Head of Department Dr. Chishala Chabala(right).

With the help of one of its international partners Fondazione Paracelso an Italian organization that deals in the care and treatment of people with Haemophilia, ZACCAF was on Friday 4th September, 2015 able to present a donation of laboratory reagents to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) Paediatrics wing. This also included a donation of blood clotting medicine from the World Federation of Haemophilia (WFH) based in Canada.

Speaking on behalf of ZACCAF Chairperson Mrs. Charity Pikiti, Mr. Maurice Muchinda who is secretary of the organization explained that the reagents are meant to facilitate diagnosis and blood (clotting) tests for people living with haemophilia.

The organization also believes that the reagents will help HFZ identify new patients through the “Hemophilia Outreach Programme to improve the patient registry”, an initiative HFZ will be implementing this year.

In the year 2012, the organization had 12 patients on their registry. Today the registry stands at just over 40 patients across Zambia that are being assisted with factor for treatment of bleeding episodes including prophylaxis (prevention of disease).

Acting Head   Clinical Care at UTH Paediatrics Dr Chishala Chabala expressed gratitude for the donation and hoped that the organizations with the help of their partners and doctors will be able to identify more people in need of assistance so that they can get the necessary help.

Fynn Machona an individual who has haemophilia was present at the donation and acknowledged the help rendered by ZACCAF and thanked doctors at UTH for the care they have administered to haemophilia patients.

ZACCAF 2

Fynn Machona (left) and Maxell Chulu (right). Both have Haemophilia and actively participate in spreading awareness on the disorder.

Mr. Muchinda revealed that the ultimate goal of the organization is to set up a dedicated hemophilia centre with a facility for diagnosis and treatment. “We shall be knocking on your doors for your support in realizing this goal”, he stated.

He thanked their two international partners for their generous humanitarian aid donation and also thanked the government for the commitment, support and care for people living with Hemophilia.

ZESCO BLUES AND PORTABLE LAMPS

By Sepo Mwikisa

It is not every day at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) that you see people walking about with rechargeable lamps.

Upon enquiry, a grandfather from Kwa Mungule a rural area located on the outskirts of Lusaka explained that according to his understanding, “ma light yamayenda ku town” (the lights go off in the city).

The grandfather who was in the company of his wife and eight grandchildren were unfortunate victims of food poisoning. They narrated how they had unknowingly carried mealie meal contaminated with pesticides from their granary to a church camp meeting.  It was only after consumption that they began to feel ill and quickly UTH where they received treatment for food poisoning.

With their lamps on standby, the family looked for transport and stated they would head straight back to the camp sight immediately they got home.

This family gives meaning to the old saying “to be forewarned is to be prepared”.

Rechargeable Lamps

Grandfather and Grandmother holding their rechargeable lamps.

Skills Laboratory

I am confident that with the support and commitment from our partners we will be able to build a future in which our Nurses and Midwives provide care to patients and the community at large in a competent and caring manner with dignity and respect.

Openning of Skills Lab Deputy Minister

Deputy Minister of Health Honorable Dr. Chitalu Chilufya. US embassy Chargé d’ Affaires David Young(left) and UTH Senior Medical Superintendent Dr Lackson Kasonka (far right).

Speaking on behalf of the Vice President Mrs. Inonge Wina MP, Deputy Minister of Health Dr Chitalu Chilufya said the donation from the government of the United States through NEPI (Nursing Education Partnership Initiative) to the people of Zambia was timely. He said such support and commitment from partners will build a future in which Nurses and Midwives provide care to patients and the community at large.

The Ministry of Health and the Government of the United States and has been working closely with each other in supporting three programmes. Namely Nursing and Midwives Institutions which are the University of Zambia Department of Nursing Sciences, The Lusaka Schools of Nursing and Midwifery and the Monze Schools of Nursing and Midwifery.

This joint effort has culminated in the establishment of the state-of-the-art skills laboratory the first of its kind in Zambia which will greatly improve Nursing Midwifery Education not only at the University Teaching Hospital but a country as a whole.

Openning of Skills Lab

Deputy Minister of Health Honorable Dr. Chitalu Chilufya and US embassy Chargé d’ Affaires David Young officially open the Skills Lab

At the same occasion U.S. Embassy Chargé d’ Affaires David Young said the United States Government is committed to ensure that the support rendered by any project ultimately benefits the Zambian population because the United States assistance places a strong emphasis on integrating service delivery systems and improving the education and training of health providers. Mr. Young reiterated his Government’s commitment towards the programme and prayed that the equipment and manikins that have been procured will enhance students learning and the mastering of desired skills and competencies which will no doubt enhance patients’ safety.

In her vote of thanks Principal   Nursing Education Officer Mrs. Ireen Mukonka thanked ICAP (International Centre for AIDS Care and

Treatment Programs NEPI for partnering with the Government of the Republic of Zambia in uplifting nursing education at this school. She assured the Minister of the Schools determination in ensuring that the skills laboratory will improve the way clinical skills are taught at the school as the school expands and responds to the health training needs of the country.

‘’I also thank University Teaching Hospital Management and staff for their selfless and ceaseless technical support and guidance in ensuring that the skills Laboratory   is completed, ’she concluded.

Demonstration Room

One of the demonstration rooms in the Lab

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UTH RADIOLOGY RECIEVES A BOOST

The arrival of the Catherization Laboratory is a major boost to the health care delivery system of the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and the country as a whole.

This state of the art equipment that just arrived at the UTH Radiology (x- ray) Department is the first of its kind in Zambia and is also known as the Cath Lab. Catherization in simple terms is the insertion of catheters in the blood vessels.

Mr. Jacob Kazuma the Chief Radiographer at UTH gives a brief description of what this means for the operations of the department with comparisons to the conventional equipment currently in use and the just arrived lab.

With the current equipment being used, when doing x- rays, the staff are able to carry out procedures such as the barium swallow. This involves the patient swallowing barium to enable the radiologist view what is happening in the body using fluoroscopy. This occurs in “Real time”, meaning the imaging is captured immediately and can be seen occurring.

Mr Kazuma

Mr. Jacob Kazuma Chief Radiographer at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH)

Compared to the current equipment, the Cath lab is highly computerized and is able to digitally subtract any structure that is obscuring the blood vessels.

A good example of how the Cath lab works is in the repair of blood vessels in Stenosis, which is an abnormal narrowing of the blood vessels. In the past radiologists at UTH have not been able to detect and repair this problem but can now perform interventional procedures.

A catheter with a stent attached which has material that balloons is inserted in the patient and is stopped when it reaches the problem area identified. The radiologists are able to watch the material balloon the narrowed area on the monitors that are set up in the lab. The stent is then set in the area once they are satisfied and the catheter withdrawn.

“This will be multidisciplinary as it will involve a team of different members of staff such as interventional radiologists, vascular radiologists, anesthetists, theatre nurses and general surgeons,” Mr. Kazuma states.

Fully aware that some procedures are invasive, painful and uncomfortable, he emphasizes on the need for strict observing of hygiene.

Cath Lab

A picture of a Catherization Lab

When asked his for his personal thoughts on the arrival of the lab, Mr. Kazuma was happy to note that the lab helps in the expansion of the teaching profession as the staff are now able to teach using available examples rather than use pictures. He also acknowledged the financial relief the lab will provide on the burden faced by families who cannot afford to fly patients out of the country for certain procedures.

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This development is a welcome move for UTH as is undergoes modernization and it is hoped that this equipment can be regularly maintained and the environment around it monitored to ensure that people can benefit from it in years to come.

Wedding Bells In G11

By Sepo Mwikisa and Natalie Mashikolo

In a rare occurrence of events, the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) witnessed what many people would consider strange or something out of this world. Mr Suzyo Muzuri and his fiancée Diniwe Bowa planned to tie the knot after all the preparations had been done but alas as fate would have it, Suzyo was involved in a road accident that left him with one leg being amputated.

Vice-President Inonge Wina visits Suzyo and Diniwe

Vice-President Inonge Wina visits Suzyo and Diniwe

Their story has generated so much interest that her Honor the Vice- President Mrs Inonge Wina felt she needed to pay a courtesy call on the couple and congratulate them in person. She expressed her gratitude to UTH Senior Medical Superintendent Dr. Lackson Kasonka for allowing what she termed as an unusual event to take place in the ward.

Speaking to the couple, her Honor applauded the courage they have shown and declared that love conquers all. ‘Love is the answer to everything’, she stressed. She expressed how proud she was of Diniwe for accepting the reality of her partner’s situation.

The Vice- President came bearing gifts as required by tradition, but with a different twist as dictated by the circumstances. She handed over a wheel chair to Suzyo to help with his mobility once he is able to get out of the hospital bed. Some money to purchase items to aid his recovery was also given. Mrs Wina wished Suzyo a quick recovery so the couple could quickly settle in their new home.

Suzyo thanked Mrs Wina for her generous gesture and appreciated the visit. He stated that he could only be grateful and thanked God for sparing his life.

UTH CURB VERY LOW BIRTH WEIGHT

BY DAVIES CHUTU

Low birth weight refers to babies born with a weight of less than 2,500grams while very low birth weight are babies born less than 1,500grams.

According to Dr. Chisele an Obstetrician and Gynecologist the weight of a neonate at birth has a significant prognostic value and is a major determinant of child survival. Neonatal mortality and morbidity tends to increase proportionately with reduced neonatal birth weight. He said premature birth is a term for a baby born before the 37 completed weeks of gestation.

Dr.Chisele mentioned that 70% of babies born who are admitted to the Neonatal intensive Care Unit at the UTH labour ward are due to the low birth weight.

He said “the causes of low birth weight in neonates can be multi-factorial. Maternal factors include age, marital status parity, Social economic factors like preterm labour, multiple pregnancy possible complications in the index pregnancy, necessitating pregnancy interruption before term, cervix abnormalities, maternal high blood pressure, smoking during pregnancy, infections in the fetus, inadequate maternal weight gain and women under the age of 17 are at risk of delivering a low birth weight baby. Other causes includes: pre- eclampsia, twinning ante partum hemorrhage and others.

The two other main causes for a baby to be born with low birth weight are premature birth and intrauterine growth restriction.

Dr Chisele further said a baby born with low birth weight, may need to spend additional time in the hospital for close monitoring in D Block which is the neonatal intensive care unit. These can last days, weeks, or months depending on how much the baby weighed at birth and how long it will take for the baby to reach the appropriate weight before being allowed to go home.

Dr. Chisele pointed out that UTH has a specific weight requirement for discharge, but it is not always an absolute number and depends on the underlying causes and issues. In most cases an ultra sound can inform the Doctor before the baby is born that he or she is not gaining weight. The Doctor may want to monitor the fetal heart rate and perform additional ultra sounds to monitor the babies’ progress. Occasionally, a baby may need to born prematurely in order to save its life or the mother’s life due to other medical factors.

He said “The use of progesterone supplementation during pregnancy usually reduce the risk of recurrent preterm birth in women with a history of at least one prior spontaneous preterm delivery, has been considered in some centre’s on trial basis. However, its role in preventing preterm labour still remains unclear”.

The gynaecologist specialist said that physiologically progesterone has been known to reduce the likelihood of uterine contractions. This therefore means, there is a possibility that a woman who receives this supplements during pregnancy may be less likely to go into premature labour and ultimately contribute to a reduction in low birth weight babies.

Antenatal administration of progesterone reduces the risk of preterm birth as well as the risk of a new born being born with a weight of less than 2500g. Management at the University Teaching Hospital has put up measures to introduce giving oral progesterone to mothers who are expecting.

These low birth weight premature infants are born without adaptive mechanisms needed for survival outside the womb. These fragile infants require thermo protective interventions that begin in the delivery room. The treatment is warming babies in incubators. The hospital has acquired the state of art equipment like incubators to accommodate babies who needs special interventions like the premature babies.

He added that premature babies also often have respiratory problems because their lungs are not fully developed. An Infant with breathing problems may be given medicine such as surfactant or mothers are administered with a steroid drug to improve fetal maturity.

Dr. Chisele in conclusion said premature babies may also suffer hypoglycemia a condition in which the amount of blood glucose (sugar) in the blood is lower than normal. Treatment includes infusion with glucose. The baby’s blood glucose is closely monitored after treatment to see if the hypoglycemia occurs again.

ROCKS

BY NATALIE MASHIKOLO

One of the great architectural health structures in this country and region is the University Teaching Hospital which is spread over one and a half a kilometer (80 hectares) of land. Housing a magnificent collection of two storey buildings with ultra-modern medical facilities the hospital has embarked on the improvement of infrastructure through its modernization plan. Colin Powel says’ have a vision, be demanding’ and that’s exactly what University Teaching Hospital Management is doing. Against this vision lies a hidden vision that is visible to the ‘naked eye’ but has not been seen by many people who have either been admitted, worked in this hospital or have just been passersby. That vision is hidden in two rocks that signify the beginning of the construction of the main hospital. In geology a rock is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of one or more minerals or mineraloids. For example, the common rock granite is a combination of the quartz feld spar and biotite minerals. The earth’s outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock. Rocks have been used by mankind throughout history. From the stone age rocks have been used for tools: The minerals and metals we find in rocks have been essential to human civilization. Three major groups of rocks are defined: igeneous sedimentary (type of rock that are formed by the deposit of material at the Earth’s surface and within bodies of water). Standing opposite where it is written University Teaching Hospital, the two rocks were excavated from the site where the chest clinic used to be to signify the construction of the two story hospital block whose foundation was laid  in 1969 by the first Republican President Dr Kenneth D avid Kaunda. As Zambia celebrates its golden jubilee may these rocks stand as a reminder to both the nation and the hospital that University Teaching Hospital is meant to stand the test of time as it relish its dream of an independent health facility as a center of excellence by providing affordable quality health care?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

STARKEY HEARING FOUNDATION TO FIT 1000 FREE HEARING AIDS

Starkey Hearing Foundation, a non- governmental Organisation based in America working with Ministry of Health in Zambia, University Teaching Hospital and Zambia National Association for Hearing Impaired (ZNAHI) has embarked on a programme to donate 1000 free hearing aids.

The programme which started in 2010 where more than 400 people were fitted with free hearing aids in Lusaka and Livingstone is spreading to other provinces starting with central province and later Eastern Province in the next three (3) months.

Director of ZNAHI Mr. Kennedy Sikuka said Starkey Hearing Foundation has trained thirty (30) local volunteers in impression taking and is expected to reach all the provinces in order to take impressions which will be sent to America for moids to be made after  which a mission outreach will be organised to Zambia to fit the free hearing aids.

Mr. Sikuka said “The last Starkey Hearing Foundation mission was graced by the former USA president Bill Clinton in August 2013 in Livingstone at Royal Zambezi Hotel where 104 people received free hearing aids”.

The last mission to Zambia was led by the founder of SHF Mr. Bill Austin, Mr. Leigh Kassner the regional representative from South Africa and was also attended by Mr. Tryson Bruno and other officials from SHF Zambia branch.

Mr. Sikuka further said that this programme is being encouraged in an effort to help many people around the world to be enabled to hear and improve the provision of audiometric services to every one including the poor. This partnership with government will have a mission trip next year to fit free hearing.

Starkey Hearing Foundation in Zambia has partnered with several organisations in Zambia which include among others the Ministries of Health, Education and have also received support from National Pension Scheme Authority (Napsa), Zambia State Insurance Corporation (ZSIC), Mazhandu Family Buses and Aupie Agro Limited. However, more support is needed if more people are to be reached throughout the country.

For the project to succeed will appeal to all people who are hard of hearing to look out for our future missions around the country.