THE lasting legacy of a Borders doctor was celebrated this month with the arrival of two health professionals from Zambia at the BGH.

In 1991 Dr Sandy Logie, who was a retired medical consultant at Borders General Hospital, volunteered at the St Francis Hospital in Zambia.

During his life-saving work on the wards he contracted HIV.

Dr Logie died eight years later.

His work and bravery led to a formal twinning partnership being agreed between NHS Borders and the St Francis Hospital.

Although the hospital is roughly the same size as the BGH it serves almost ten times as many people and has around quarter the number of staff, as well as a fraction of the resources.

To honour the partnership, staff from the Scottish Borders have regularly volunteered for health projects at the Eastern Zambia hospital.

The relationship between the two health institutes was given further prominence with the creation of The Logie Legacy last year.

During 2018 and 2019 The Trust has been involved with with projects in maternity, paediatrics, physiotherapy, HIV, sexual health, pharmacy, public health, ophthalmology, radiology and TB control.

A large project to improve water supply is also reaching its completion.

Earlier this month two staff members from St Francis Hospital, at the invitation of the Scottish Government, were able to share the success story of the legacy.

Dr Lalick Banda, who is a medical superintendant, and senior hospital administrator Fred Ntongwe visited NHS Borders as well as addressed a conference in Edinburgh to discuss global health.

Staff from Borders General Hospital were also invited to the conference to share their experiences of how this successful partnership has been sustained for so long.

During the visit to the BGH Dr Banda said: "This partnership is so important to us and our patients in Zambia.

"St Francis wants to tap into skills and knowledge and make things better.

"The experience has been overwhelming. Together we will be stronger”

The visit enabled the partnership agreement between St Francis Hospital and NHS Borders to be renewed and strengthened further.

Karen Hamilton, chair of NHS Borders, told us: "Our partnership agreement supports global citizenship recognising that as individuals and organisations, we are interconnected, and our actions can impact both locally and globally.

"It upholds the key principles for effective involvement - ownership, alignment, harmonisation, evidence-based, sustainability and mutual accountability.

"The Logie Legacy, NHS Borders and St Francis Hospital will work together to support the international development commitment to Zambia and in particular St Francis Hospital, working within the Scottish Government International Development Strategy."

Links have also been forged between NHS Borders and a nursing and midwifery school attached to St Francis Hospital, as well as project to increase sustainability.

Consultant nurse Chris Faldon is a trustee of the Logie Legacy.

He said: "Our volunteers invariably find that their efforts overseas, and the learning involved, get re-invested back into their day to day jobs in Scotland and thus improve services closer to home.

"In addition to improved care in Zambia we think this double impact is worth celebrating.”