Improving Health

through The Livingstone Zambia-Scotland Medical Exchange

Helping Livingstone Central Hospital

We helpe to open the first ENT Clinic in Souther Province by bringing junior doctor, Alex Malambo, to the UK for a Clinical Attachment in ENT medicine in 2014.

The Livingstone Zambia–Scotland Medical Exchange

In January 2008, following a chance conversation between Belinda Hodge and an American volunteer, the seed was sown to create a medical exchange between Livingstone Hospital and Scotland. 

The Livingstone Initiative then approached Dr Peter Raine, a retired paediatrician based in Scotland with extensive experience in Africa. With his help, and that of The RCPSG in Glasgow – plus funding from a British charitable Trust – Livingstone Central Hospital was invited to select the first candidate for the Exchange. Dr Nthele, 

Head of Clinical Services at the Hospital, said: “We are hoping that this new Medical Exchange will ultimately lead to an Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Clinic opening up in the hospital – a much needed new service the community has been without for a long time”.

The chosen candidate was junior doctor Alex Malambo, who was attached to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill, Glasgow (coordinated by Professor Robert Carachi, Department of Surgical Paediatrics), with an observership in the Department of Paediatric ENT Surgery; and also in the Department of ENT Surgery at Gartnavel General Hospital, now The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Glasgow.

The Acting British High Commissioner, Mr Sean Melbourne, met Dr Malambo, when visiting Livingstone General Hospital in March 2014. Following his 3-month Clinical Attachment in the UK, Dr Malambo was then sponsored by the Zambian Government to undertake a 5-year post graduate ENT Surgical training in Kenya. 

Dr Malambo completed his post-graduate training at the University of Nairobi, sponsored by the Zambian Government in 2020. He was then posted to The University Hospital Lusaka, but at his own expense undertook monthly week-long visits to the new ENT Clinic in Livingstone, which is part of the new surgical unit at Livingstone Central Hospital.

Online training by UK team proving hugely beneficial to the ENT Clinic in Livingstone

Dr Alex Malambo – currently Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgeon at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka – was -– as a junior doctor – our first Zambian candidate in the Livingstone Zambia-Scotland Medical Exchange back in 2014. Alex has updated us on the online training to support his Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) staff in Livingstone.

Alex tells us that the series of lectures – developed at our request by the ENT Department at the Royal Hospital for Children and University in Glasgow – were "going so well and that they are proving very beneficial to his nurses. They have a lecture once a month."

Our grateful thanks to Mr Haytham Kubba and his team in Glasgow who are giving their time to help and support the ENT clinic at Livingstone Central Hospital in Zambia.

However, Alex's visits to Livingstone ground to a halt mid-way through last year, as it was proving impossible for him to cover the costs of his week long visits out of his own pocket.

The Livingstone Initiative heard about this last month and have raised initial funding to restart the visits in early February 2024 and are currently seeking funding to keep these hugely beneficial visits and restart the online monthly lectures.

Each visit Alex undertakes to the ENT Clinic in Livingstone enables him to :

  • Perform around 15–20 operations per visit (adeno-tonsillectomy, functional endoscopic surgeries for the nose, ear surgeries, head and neck tumours);
  • Conduct specialist clinics in which approximately 30-50 patients can be screened;
  • Take a trainee doctor with him to Livingstone, so he can gain valuable experience;
  • Restart the online training programme for ENT nursing staff.