About

First Visit By Mike Brozel

09/01/2001

On my first visit to Lubwe in September 2000, I found that the hospital was generally in a poor condition with most buildings showing cracks in their walls.

There were many other signs of disrepair. In addition there were few facilities and the most basic of medical equipment. There was an operating theatre whose equipment appeared to be very old.

 Also the hospital was finding it difficult to offer treatment because of a lack of drugs and other consumable items such as dressings (a similar observation was made independently by Dutch observers).

One photo which I took at the time shows the daily drudge of pulling water out of a well. Often the nearest well is many kilometres from home and the water must be boiled or chlorinated by tablets before it is safe to drink. Boiling requires fuel, a scarce resource, whilst chlorine tablets are relatively expensive.

I offered to make requests in the UK for donations of hard currency (pounds sterling) and to send any money collected directly to the hospital for the purchase of drugs.

Following my return to the UK I made initial requests for support from friends. We were also fortunate that AstraZeneca were able to make a contribution of a year's supply of chloroquine (an anti-malarial drug) to the hospital. Having received publicity in a local newspaper, the Macclesfield Express, the collected funds approached £1,000 and it was necessary to register the fund as a charity. Registration was completed by August 2001.

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