Refurbishment of our paediatric nursery ward is complete.
This is our ward for babies under 6 months admitted with any one of a variety of serious illnesses e.g. pneumonia. This very busy ward was very cramped which resulted in high rates of cross infection. The refurbished ward is now bigger, brighter and airier!
Dr Laura Newberry (who can just be seen in the background—right) is ‘queen’ of this area.
Most of the cots that can be seen came from one of our periodic containers to Malawi and the monitor was also from our donors.
The nurse who is smiling is Sakia Ilipere, the 2014 Squire Saunders (UK) LLP sponsored nurse. She will be visiting their Birmingham (England) offices during her training visit to Birmingham Children’s Hospital in June.
Refurbishing the Neo-natal Unit
We received approval from the Office of Buildings to refurbish the neonatal unit – doubling the Kangaroo Care Unit and tripling the size of the neonatal intensive care area.
The tendering process for the contractors is nearly done and we are hoping that building will kick off in June. Funds from The ELMA Foundation and from the ‘Nursery of the Future’ - RICE University, Texas have made this possible.
Bespoke wheelchairs for children
With thesupport of John Humphrys and his charity, Kitchen Table Charities Trust,
as well as a number of our supportive individual donors, this initiative at the hospital workshop has been going well and news has spread far and wide.
At the time of writing, 64 children with severe mobility problems have had their lives changed for the better and funds for another 14 wheelchairs are available.
At £125 (£100 for a UK taxpayer) these chairs are life changing for the children and their families, and secure employment at the workshop.
Would you like to sponsor some?
New paediatric chair project.
To add to our bespoke wheelchairs for children a new paediatric chair for home use has come on stream. The photos show one with the detachable tray that they come with and the ‘holes’ where made to measure Velcro strapping will be fitted to suit each child’s needs.
They are a basic, rugged, locally manufactured and low-cost (about £7!!!) way to make a big difference in the life of a disabled child and their families who care for them.
They free up ‘mums’ to do all the other jobs they have to do and allows the children to see the world a bit more and, not to be underestimated, helps with their feeding.
Would you like to sponsor some?
There are lots of cases of typhoid in Blantyre, associated with poor sanitation and hygiene facilities. We are seeing at least 15 cases a week. Also, we have had one of the busiest malaria seasons for a while due to the prolonged rains.
On the good news front, the introduction of two new vaccines (pneumococcus and rotavirus) has led to a big drop in pneumonia and diarrhoea disease cases.
One-Stop Abuse Centre.
Neil Kennedy and his team have conducted training sessions for every magistrate and half the prosecutors in the Blantyre area on the signs of child sexual abuse. Hopefully this will lead to better treatment of child survivors in court, ‘sounder’ prosecutions, and less cases being dropped unnecessarily.
Nurses from Birmingham Children’s Hospital
Currently we have nurse Lara Flatters working in our Special Care Ward and specialist oncology nurse Kate Mallard.
New York Fundraiser
Friends of Sick Children in Malawi, Henny & Michael Billett, hosted a fundraising BBQ at their home in Yonkers, New York in April. As a result of their generosity and that of their friends one of our nursing Sisters will be supported for a year and an oxygen concentrator can be purchased.
We are currently exploring the possibilities and practicalities of further fundraising in the USA.
Any advice and suggestions will be gratefully received and greatly valued.
Concert of Asian Music, Singing and Dance
A second concert was held on Sunday 18 May, this time at The Birmingham Conservatoire, Adrian Boult Hall.
The Namdhari Sikh Community of Birmingham and the Ubhi family again planned and orchestated this event as the latest stage in their outstanding commitment to the children and families in Malawi.
For devotees of Indian culture, from classical through to Bollywood, from local amateurs to Grammy Award winners, the cast included Sukhvinder Singh Pinky; Jaz Dhani; Shin from DCS; Kirpal Singh Panesar; Pawanjit Ubhi; Hina & Co Bollywood; Giddha Sansaar and was compered by Sukhi Bart from BritAsia.
They all donated their time and very considerable talents for this concert and we are very grateful to them and to all the other people and organisations who made possible this and the first concert.
....and finally (for now)
Friends of Sick Children in Malawi – 2013
Due to existing loyal donors and by welcoming new donors, 2013 was our most successful year yet.
It is hard to see how we can match this in the current year but we will all continue to do our best.
I am happy to re-iterate that 98.6% of all donations received are applied at the ‘frontline’ of this project.
No-one takes any form of remuneration or travel or other expenses and any other costs are an unavoidable absolute minimum.
The things that were made possible in the year, and those who made them possible, have been the subject of previous updates so here I would just like to re-iterate our huge thanks to everyone who has, and who continues, to support the work in Malawi....I can assure you that you are having an enormous impact.
On behalf of everyone involved in the project and those many thousands of children and families who benefit from our donors generosity a very big thank you and please keep supporting to whatever extent you can.