St Francis Hospital treats a staggering 1600+ patients every year for TB. Most are managed at the TB Corner (Outpatient Clinic) by the work of one full time Clinical Officer, backed up by 36 volunteers.
Chris Faldon decided to raise enough funds to purchase 36 bicycles for their TB team. Why? Bicycles help enormously the community team at the hospital to get out to remote rural areas. They walk miles each day to ensure patients get their medication daily, check on the health of patients and their families, as well as educate community groups about TB & HIV. Bikes act as taxis by enabling them to bring patients into the hospital when needed. A bike could make all the difference to TB control in a country ravaged by the disease. Many patients are co-infected with HIV which makes TB an even greater killer if treatment is poor. The right bike to fit the rough terrain and carry passengers costs around £100 to purchase in Zambia and will help boost the local economy.
The Good News Well we did it! THANK YOU SO MUCH! Over £5,000 was raised. In October 2013, 36 bikes were collected (made in Lusaka by Zambikes) and delivered to St Francis Hospital. Each bike was given a unique name and issued to each of the active volunteers. In addition, specially designed and printed t-shirts were provided for the volunteers to increase their profile within the community.
"The bicycle (named 'Daniel') has really helped me in my voluntary work for follow up visiting, adherence counselling and contact tracing. Thank you to all the donors for your support in the fight against TB" (Kennedy)
"My bike (named Zechariah) shortens the distance when seeing my clients, taking sputum specimens, attending meetings. Thank you for remembering me and giving me this present!" (Loveness)
In addition some of the funds raised went to build a shelter for patients waiting to be seen at TB corner. Often they would have to wait for long periods in the full glare of the sun or in torrential rain depending on the season. Dennis, the TB Clinical Officer, was overwhelmed at the improvement this brought to his patients comfort. It also provides a great resource for some open air teaching.
Chris Faldon obtained a travel bursary from the General Nursing Council for Scotland (Education) Fund 1983 and Margaret Callum Rodger Midwifery Award. This set out to assess the impact of nurse led teams employing Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) on TB treatment completion in Zambia & London to inform service developments across Scotland
Chris Faldon returned in July 2016 and two days of training were organised for all the volunteers. It included: Update on changes to national and WHO TB guidance Teaching on good nutrition for TB patients - using local foods and with a tight budget Two employees from Zambikes accompanied Chris from Lusaka and essential repairs were carried out. Basic bike maintenance training was provided Community visits were made to see the volunteers in action New tee shirts were provided to each volunteer It was great fun! - lots of singing and drama to accompany the learning
Fundraising enabled the purchase of a backpack for each volunteer. This was a request of the team during the 2016 visit.
23 bikes were given a thorough overhaul over two days. This brought several back into full use again allowing more patients to be supported by this dedicated team of volunteers.
A Youtube video has been created to describe the project
Funding has been obtained to run a further repair workshop in October 2021
Download full report - 2016
Download update - 2017