18 June 2017

Clinic at Embangweni soon to be ready

To establish an eye clinic in Embangweni has been in our sights for a while now, but this year it will happen! Management at Embangweni mission hospital have allocated a room and made available staff. On arrival, the team found the room being cleared and refurbished. While waiting for that to be completed, together with the new staff, they checked through the recently-delivered equipment and did a stock-take and sort-out of donated second-hand glasses (there were 1116). And now it's intensive training for the staff, with an exam on Monday.

14 June 2017

Repairs at Livingstonia

In spite of the damage done to the equipment by the lorry accident, the team reports that most of the equipment sent to Livingstonia to can be reassembled to be in a servicable state. However, a slit lamp is missing, and they're hoping to find that it has been misdirected to one of the other clinics.

A day's work on Lake Malawi

Here are some pics of the boat journey from Mlowe to Tcharo (as mentioned in previous post), showing off the beauty of Lake Malawi. It was a long day: up at 4am, driven from Livingstonia down the Gorodi Road (mostly unmade, with 22 hairpins, down the side of the Rift Valley) in the dark, depart Mlowe by boat, arrive Tcharo at 11am, do clinic, have some lunch, boat to Zunga for another clinic. Then the return to Mlowe, during which they encountered heavy weather (the lake looked less idyllic – and even the regulars strapped on their lifejackets). Back up the Gorodi in the dark to arrive Livingstonia at 8:30pm.

09 June 2017

Making good – the story so far

Back in February, we reported that we were sending a large amount of good quality optometry equipment (the sort used when you visit an opticians), enough to kit out Ekwendeni, Livingstonia and Embangweni clinics to a UK professional level. Then in April, we heard the awful news that the lorry carrying this stuff had come off the road and that damage had been done to the contents.

Thankfully all was not lost. The damaged equipment was retrieved and delivered to the relevant clinics. Now our visiting team is out there (having packed tools, fixings, glue, clamps, etc in their luggage), and they report that, after a couple of days' work, and with the help of local tradesmen, Ekwendeni's equipment is now in working order (see pics below) – bar some electrical bits that need replacement.

On Wednesday, they travelled on north to Livingstonia, from where yesterday they did some clinics along the lakeshore. Their pressing job, though, is is to fix the damaged optometry equipment in Livingstonia, and get it ready for use. More reports to follow!

It's coming together.

Applying Ikea-learnt skills.

Job done!

06 June 2017

Another quiz win!

The "Almost Conscious" team did it again. They came second in this month's quiz night yesterday at the Bricklayers pub, Colchester. There weren't so many punters last night so the prize money was down, but it's another tenner towards funds, and every little helps!