In 2021 the Robert Burns International Foundation continued its support of the Hódmezővásárhely-Makó Paediatric Department of the Csongrád-Csanád County Health Care Centre. This donation was part of our SME Sponsorship Scheme, and was enabled by the continued involvement of Inter Relocation Kft.

The RBIF funded the purchase of a Natus neoBLUE compact phototherapy device and two EDAN iM3 patient monitors.

The neoBLUE compact is a phototherapy device for the treatment of neonatal jaundice. The LED light sources in the device emit blue light at the right wavelength, which causes the bile pigment bilirubin – that accumulates in the blood and causes jaundice – to break down and reduce blood levels. This procedure effectively treats neonatal jaundice and in a significant proportion of cases prevents extreme bilirubin accumulation, which can lead to brain damage if left untreated. Its compact size makes it easy to move and position.

According to consultant physician and head of department Dr Ferenc Papp:

We already had one of these devices in our neonatal unit, but felt we needed another as we often have several babies requiring light treatment at the same time. In such cases, we could only do so with a 30–40-year-old device that is less efficient with fluorescent tubes. We can now provide modern light treatment for two newborns at the same time in our department. The need for a second device is also explained by the significant increase in the number of newborns in the hospital in Hódmezővásárhely (in 2020, the number of births per year increased by 50% compared to previous years).

The two EDAN iM3 patient monitors purchased with the donation will be used primarily to monitor the basic vital signs of sick newborns and infants. The device records and displays blood oxygen saturation, pulse and blood pressure on a touch screen display. The parameters are clearly visible, even from a distance, which increases the safety of patient monitoring. The device was selected for its ease of use, compact size and the fact that the signal processing is less sensitive to movement, making it particularly suitable for use with newborns and infants. The two new monitors complement the older monitors in our department but are better in terms of functionality.

A big thank you to Inter Relocation for the continued support in the SME Sponsorship Scheme.

 

The Robert Burns International Foundation has donated equipment to the 2nd Department of Paediatrics at Semmelweis University in Tűzoltó utca every year since the roots of the Foundation were laid in 1998.

Following in his late father’s footsteps, Professor Dr. György Fekete led the 2nd Department until his semi-retirement in 2009. Author of 118 paediatric publications with 1034 citations, we are proud that he continues to advise the Foundation each year on deserving causes for the support of sick and underprivileged children around Hungary. In such capacities, he has long been recognised as one of the country’s unsung heroes for sick children. The Foundation is lucky to continue to be advised by a man of such professional international standing and integrity.

In 2021 the 2nd Department of Paediatrics requested the help of the RBIF to buy a Biometra TAdvanced gradient PCR machine. This device is what is known as a thermal cycler, a piece of laboratory equipment most commonly used to amplify segments of DNA via polymerase chain reaction(PCR). Thermal cyclers may also be used in laboratories to facilitate other temperature-sensitive reactions, including restriction enzyme digestion or rapid diagnostics. The device has a thermal block with holes where tubes holding the reaction mixtures can be inserted. The cycler then raises and lowers the temperature of the block in discrete, pre-programmed steps.

According to Professor Fekete:

We currently have set up the device to detect copy number variation (CNV) characteristic for Di-George Syndrome.

The symptoms here can vary, often including congenital heart problems, specific facial features, frequent infections, developmental delay, learning problems and cleft palate.

We have successfully applied the CNV detection assay for Di-George Syndrome for more than 25 patient samples, and we currently plan to do 20 samples/month for this assay. Furthermore, by February 2022 we plan to set methylation-sensitive assays for imprinting-related genetic disorders.

 

The Péterfy Sándor Street Hospital, located in District 7, is one of Budapest’s oldest and largest hospitals with nearly 1,600 beds, where patients can be treated for many different ailments and conditions. 

The neonatal wing is run by Dr Gábor Baross, who with the support of his team can deal with anything between 500 and 600 premature babies every year with a maximum capacity to accommodate 20 to 30 babies at any one time.

This department of the hospital has been a beneficiary of support from the Robert Burns International Foundation for many years, and when we asked Dr Boross what would be most useful in 2021, he revealed that a heated humidifier was top of their list.

Babies that are born can find themselves in need of ventilation for various reasons, and this is where humidifiers like that purchased by the RBIF are invaluable.

According to Dr. Boross,

with this device and its accessories they can ventilate newborn babies much more gently. The breathing circuits that were purchased along with the main device ensure that the noses of the babies are subject to less irritation, and therefore much more rarely cause an injury when compared to the circuits that we used to use.

The MD850 heated humidifier is a robust system that is designed to withstand daily hospital use, and so it will provide significant support for the doctors and nurses in their challenging day-to-day activities.

Thanks to the generosity of the guests and sponsors of the annual Burns Supper the Robert Burns International Foundation is able to help make sure that the department always has the necessary number of functional and reliable equipment at its disposal.

As part of our SME Sponsorship Scheme we endeavour to support smaller yet no less important projects around the country, and in 2021 we were delighted to be able to return to Székesfehérvár to provide support for the second time.

Norhot Kft. is a real estate company based in Budapest, and the owners joined our scheme for the first time in 2020, identifying Fejér county as the region that they wished to support.

When Norkot Kft. came back to us in the spring saying that they wanted to take part in the SME Sponsorship Scheme again, it made sense to go back to Dr Gábor Simon, who runs the paediatric department at the Szent György University Hospital in Székesfehérvár, to ask how we could help.

The doctors and nurses at the paediatric department revealed that their work would best be facilitated by the addition of a Euromex iScope trinocular microscope.

According to Dr Simon,

the microscope not only helps with the day-to-day work of the department (quality blood counts, urine sediment), it is also used for training purposes. The examined substance can be projected onto a screen by means of the attached camera, while the photos taken can be stored for teaching and training purposes. The microscope that the department previously used was old and obsolete, had been repaired several times, and was not suitable even for routine examinations.

The other request was for a digital blood pressure measurement device combined with a pulse oximeter.

This device that comes with a wide range of cuffs makes it possible to record precise blood pressure measurements even of newborns, and to measure the blood oxygen concentration of patients struggling with severe respiratory problems. This latter parameter is crucial for deciding whether to give a patient continuous oxygen or transfer them to intensive care for further treatment.

A big thank you to Norhot Kft. for their kind donation.

On 29th August 2021 the RBIF held its fourth annual BBQ at the Chefparade Country venue in Etyek.

The day started in bright sunshine in keeping with the end of August date, and we welcomed around 90 people to the fantastic venue that is Chefparade in Etyek.

With plenty of space for kids to run around the venue is the perfect location to relax as the summer draws to a close, and we were certainly well looked after.

BBQ cuisine

Paul Mizener and his team at the Chefparade cooking school had been preparing the food for up to 48 hours in some cases, and this was evident in the range of delicious meats they put on: Salmon steaks, chicken thighs prepared in the smoker, burnt end chili, the most amazing fillet steak, and the ever-popular BBQ pulled pork, accompanied by coleslaw, pickles and potatoes.

And if that were not enough, at the end we were able to enjoy Paul’s famous brownie, you need to taste it to believe it.

Fine wines

But it wasn’t all about the food, once again we enjoyed the support of the Etyeki Kúria Winery, who popped over from their neighbouring estate and allowed us to taste some great wines, the Pláne Frizzante White, the Kúria Sauvignon Blanc, and the Kúria Red, all perfectly suited to the weather and the food.

 

As the afternoon wore on, the clouds gathered and we were treated to a huge rainstorm, but fortunately we are well catered for at Chefparade and were all able to move under the shelter of the pergola to enjoy the rest of the afternoon in great company.

The event couldn’t have been the success it was without the support of our sponsors particularly the Budapest British International School, our main BBQ sponsor.

We look forward to seeing you all next year!

Just click on the photo below to view all the pictures from the BBQ:

photos: Amy Arnott

A big thank you to everyone who ordered one of the Burns Supper Hampers, and we hope you enjoyed a traditional Burns Night meal from the comfort of your own home.

Despite being largely closed since the spring, the team at the Corinthia Hotel were a huge help to us in making their facilities available once more, and ensuring that the hampers were filled with all that you needed to enjoy Burns Night.

Continued support

In what has been a very difficult 12 months for everyone we are grateful for the continued support of Arran Distillery and Zwack/Diageo for providing our whisky, to Kovács Nimrod Winery for the lovely wines, Magyar&Sons for the pálinka, Törley for the champagne, I.J. Mellis for the cheese, and to UPS for arranging the transport of the haggis and cheese directly from Scotland.

The money raised from the hampers will be put towards our charity projects in 2021, along with the kind donations that we have received as well.

SME Sponsorship Scheme

Should you wish to support the RBIF in 2021, possibly joining our SME Sponsorship Scheme to support smaller-scale projects at children’s hospitals around the country, please get in touch.

This year UPS not only had to contend with the restrictions brought on by the pandemic, but also the problems of Brexit, and they came through with flying colours, as ever. If you think UPS could be of help to you or your business, please contact them directly, by helping our sponsors you help the RBIF!

Summary of 2020

2020 was a busy year for the RBIF, despite all the restrictions brought on by the pandemic. Normally we provide you all with a printed brochure of our activities at the Burns Supper, but this year, you can access it electronically below. We hope you enjoy reading what your donations facilitated last year.

Follow us and stay updated

Make sure you like the RBIF Facebook page or follow us on Instagram or Twitter to be sure of hearing all the details about next year’s event in good time, and to find out what projects the RBIF will be supporting throughout 2020.

The Robert Burns International Foundation (RBIF) is supported by the British Ambassador to Hungary and the Hungarian Ambassador to the UK. The Honorary President of the foundation is Sir Alex Ferguson, former manager of Manchester United football club. In the last 20 years the organisation has raised several hundred thousand euros to help sick and underprivileged children.

Contact: info@rbif.hu

To many of us who have lived in Budapest for a number of years, Paul Mizener needs no introduction. Formerly chef at Budapest’s only Scottish bar The Caledonia shortly after he arrived in Hungary, Paul is now well established as a professional chef at Chefparade, Hungary’s largest cooking school (and the culinary experts behind the RBIF’s Summer BBQ!).

“Having lived in Hungary for 10 years, I wanted to give something back to the community, and after speaking with the RBIF and Chefparade, where I had worked for the past 8 years, we came up with the idea of a testimonial dinner”, says Paul, explaining where the idea for our joint project came from.

For health reasons, Paul’s oldest daughter is a regular visitor to the Bethesda Hospital, which became the obvious choice for the fundraiser. After speaking with Dr Rita Jakus, head of the neurology department, and following confirmation from the RBIF’s medical adviser Dr György Fekete, we knew what equipment we needed.

Bethesda Hospital needed help to buy equipment to improve the standard of neurodiagnostic care they could offer, and this fitted in perfectly with Paul’s plan.

“Due to the amazing generosity of my colleagues at Chefparade, who volunteered their time to deliver the evening and the numerous suppliers who donated produce, wine, whisky and beer, the band who performed for free, fantastic speeches, laughter and tears of joy and all the wonderful guests, we managed to achieve our target.” – added Paul.

With normal electroneurography tests we cannot see the nerves, so we can only infer from these results where the nerve damage is. This ultrasound equipment is a huge help in identifying the exact position and size of the damage, after broken bones, post-operative muscular problems, etc. – revealed Dr Rita Jakus.

The sum of money raised by Paul and his Chefparade colleagues on the night of the dinner was matched by the Robert Burns International Foundation, so we were able to make a donation of over HUF 2.6 million to Bethesda Hospital for the equipment, an outstanding achievement!

For a number of years the RBIF has collaborated with the Nursery Project team, and 2020 was no different, with another ambitious upgrade project in the village of Istenmezeje, in Heves county.

A region badly hit by unemployment after the closure of coal mines, the long-standing effects are still visible. Local job opportunities are still limited, and people tend to travel to school and work to the nearby city of Eger.

The village community

Despite the difficulties, locals are a close, kind-hearted community. They not only welcomed the idea of improving their nursery facilities, but decided to play an active part. They organised a fundraising event to help change the flooring in the playroom, and welcomed a large number of volunteers from Budapest to the village, preparing local delicacies and drinks. On the delivery day itself they helped with the renovation by painting and assembling furniture. The local Mayor’s Office and the nursery management were really helpful from the start, truly a community effort.

Before the renovation

In partnership with the Robert Burns International Foundation, the IHBC (Irish-Hungarian Business Circle), and the St Andrew’s Association, HUF 3.6 million was raised. A team of interior design students surveyed the playroom and completed the interior design plans. Once the orders were completed and deliveries arranged to the nursery by volunteers, there was a very successful volunteering day with IHBC and the local Mayor’s office to assemble all the furniture and fittings in one day.

The Robert Burns International Foundation has been a long-standing partner of The Nursery Project, who were very grateful for the HUF 1,200,000 in financial support the foundation allocated, which paid for the furniture, mattresses and educational toys.

After the renovation


“The happiest moment was when all the volunteers who came to the handover day saw for  themselves the joy and smiles of the local children when they came to see their new nursery. It has made a huge impact on their daily life, giving them a new, high-quality place to learn and play, a well-equipped nursery that all the local staff could only dream about. Many tears were shared when it all became a reality” – said Zsuzsanna Bozó, the creative mind behind the Nursery Project.

The nursery is an important place for kids, but now also for the local community. People who once attended the nursery and helped during the planning and building process decided to continue their support by opening a voluntary savings account, which will be a source for buying new toys and gifts for the local kids in need every year. This is another great achievement of this project, not only improving the interior, but in this case, helping a community in many ways.

“We all know 2021 is going to be a difficult year. Fundraisers and large events have been cancelled, and this will have an effect on how The Nursery Project will be able to help. But we stay optimistic and hope life will be back to normal, and helping little ones and local communities will be even more welcomed and appreciated”, added Zsuzsa

The Gyöngyvirág Children’s Home in Budapest’s 18th District is home for up to 40 children between 3 and 18 years of age. Some are orphans, but the majority are children who have been taken into care by law. They are looked after by a team of dedicated care workers who provide physical and mental support for them day and night, working in shifts. The children attend local schools during term time.

The Home is part of the state-run network of the Social and Children’s Protection Directorate and all staff salaries and operational costs are covered by the state. However, central budgets typically provide only the bare minimum. Further, having to submit requests via a central administration means procurement is typically a lengthy process, sometimes leaving the home with broken equipment for years.

RBIF teamed up with Budapest Airport, RBIF’s Sponsor of the Year in 2019 and a long-time supporter of the Home, to fund the purchase of furniture and equipment in 2019 following a recent refurbishment of the home by the state.

In 2020, RBIF made a further donation to the Gyöngyvirág Home. The staff have used our donation to fund the purchase of fridges, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and kitchen appliances – items which help make everyday life easier for staff and children in lots of ways. Our donation has also funded the strengthening of the WiFi signal throughout the home and the purchase a printer. Both proved invaluable to help support the children in their online digital home leaning during the pandemic.

Last but not least, our donation has funded purchases of televisions and a karaoke speaker. The speaker helps inject extra opportunities for fun into the various activities and entertainment organised within the home.

In 2020 the Robert Burns International Foundation continued its support of the Paediatric Department at the Csongrád-Csanád County Health Centre in Hódmezővásárhely purchasing equipment that ensures non-invasive respiratory support for babies and infants. This donation was part of our SME Sponsorship Scheme, and was enabled by the continued involvement of Inter Relocation Kft.

The nurses and doctors at the department frequently encounter babies suffering from respiratory problems like acute bronchiolitis, often as a result of a virus (respiratory syncytial virus). In some cases this leads to severe respiratory symptoms and the babies need admitted to hospital, and the situation can be compounded by other factors, such as premature birth, heart disorders or congenital disorders.

Most problems arise between the autumn and the spring, particularly in January and February. Using the respiratory system purchased using the support of the RBIF and Inter Relocation, the doctors and nurses can primarily help alleviate upper respiratory infections, thereby helping them get better as soon as possible.

Until now we could only rely on traditional oxygen therapy as we did not have the necessary equipment to hand, which meant some of the babies had to be transferred to other hospitals for treatment. Thanks to the donation we can now treat these severe cases too using modern, non-invasive respiratory treatment. – Dr Ferenc Papp, consultant physician and head of department.

This “high flow nasal cannula therapy” (HFNC) is a heated and humidified system that allows a prescribed fraction of inspired oxygen levels to be delivered at very high flow rates, helping babies and children to breathe and take in enough oxygen. It is a treatment used in the event of mild to moderate respiratory problems, mainly virus-induced respiratory inflammations.

The donated equipment was the Fisher&Paykel 850 Optiflow HFNC system, and it is better than traditional oxygen therapy for various reasons, among others, the required oxygen concentration can be administered more accurately and the high flow of gas cleans the pharynx, minimising the carbon dioxide inhaled back into the body, which raises the efficiency of the oxygen treatment. Compared to other respiratory therapies this is much more comfortable and easier to tolerate for the babies and children.

With the donated equipment the hospital can treat six severe cases at the same time, which comes as a huge help to the staff in Hódmezővásárhely, not to mention the little patients.