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.

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.

The SME Sponsorship Scheme has gone from strength to strength since it was launched a number of years ago, and we were delighted this year to be able to support a hospital in Fejér county for the first 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.

As is custom with our new donations we turned to the RBIF’s medical adviser, Professor György Fekete, to help us in our search for a worthy beneficiary. We were put in contact with Dr Gábor Simon, who runs the paediatric department at the Szent György University Hospital in Székesfehérvár.

The doctors and nurses at the paediatric department revealed that volumetric pumps would be most useful for their daily work, and asked if we could help. Thanks to the generosity of Norhot Kft., and with the RBIF matching the donation, we were able to fund the purchase of two Alaris volumetric pumps and an infusion stand.

According to Dr Simon,

The Alaris volumetric pumps are extremely useful for the department. When treating children, especially those in critical conditions, it is crucial for fluid and volume replacement to be precise and aligned with body weight. Medicines administered in certain infusions can be dosed with precision thanks to the volumetric pumps.

The pumps offer a versatile and flexible platform for infusion therapy, which is suitable across a broad range of applications, and they have a range of features suited to drug therapy, blood transfusions and parenteral feeding, with a large, clear display and intuitive operation.

A big thank you to Norhot Kft. for their kind donation, and for agreeing to continue their involvement in 2021, so we can look forward to completing another project next year.

January 2020 seems so long away now given all that has happened in the meantime, but at the RBIF we have been working hard to make sure the funds raised at the 23rd Annual Burns Supper are spent on worthy causes, as promised.

We have supported the paediatric unit at the Szent Rafael Hospital in Zalaegerszeg for a number of years now, in collaboration with FirstMed Centers, as part of our SME Sponsorship Scheme.

With the continued help of Dennis Diokno and his team, along with funds raised at the Burns Supper, were we able to purchase three different sizes of videolaryngoscope along with a monitor that has wifi capability. Videolaryngoscopy is a technique that utilises video camera technology to visualise airway structures and facilitate endotracheal intubation.

Particularly in the current situation this equipment is extremely important to the functioning of the department. Dr. László Gárdos, Chief Physician of the Paediatric Department at the Szent Rafael Hospital in Zalaegerszeg, said:

When the Premature Baby Rescue and Paediatric IC Foundation was established we undertook to save the lives of premature babies, and to support, in any way possible, those children who are seriously ill and require intensive care.

We have been doing so for 10 years, and over this time we have received the support of the Robert Burns International Foundation on several occasions, for which we are extremely grateful!

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

On Saturday 15 February 2020 the Robert Burns International Foundation together with the British Embassy took part in the 10th Anniversary Ball of the Premature Baby Rescue and Paediatric IC Foundation in Zalaegerszeg, a body that performs sterling work with premature babies and young children in western Hungary, saving the lives of 1500 children over the last decade.

Together with long-standing sponsor FirstMed Centers the RBIF has been supporting the Szent Rafael Hospital in Zalaegerszeg since 2018, providing much needed equipment to help facilitate the crucial work performed there by the local doctors and nurses.

Also present at the ball were Hungarian doctors who previously worked temporarily under the NHS in the UK, but have since come back to put their know-how to good use at home. UK Ambassador Iain Lindsay was the patron of the evening, and the Embassy was represented by Deputy Head of Mission Steven Dick.

We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the Szent Rafael Hospital and FirstMed in the course of 2020:

Photos: Kálóczi Photo

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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

In recent years the RBIF has been intensifying its activities beyond the boundaries of the capital Budapest, and 2018 was no exception.

As part of the SME Sponsorship Scheme, and as ever with the medical advice from Professor György Fekete, former director of the 2nd Department of Paediatrics at SOTE II in Budapest, we got in contact with Ferenc Papp, consultant physician and head of department at the paediatric unit in Hódmezővásárhely in southern Hungary.

Having teamed up with the RBIF in 2017, the staff at Inter Relocation Kft. again demonstrated their willingness to get involved with this ever-growing scheme organised by the RBIF. Such was the donation provided by Inter Relocation, and doubled by funds raised at the 2018 Burns Supper, that we were able to buy not just two but in fact three infusion pumps.

During our visit to the hospital in Makó in December 2018, where one of the pumps is already in use, Dr Papp explained that “the pump enables IV fluids and also medicines to be dosed very accurately compared to gravity-based drips”, which really enhances the standard of care. Until the RBIF donation was handed over, the hospital in Makó did not have any such infusion pump. The other two pumps are now also being used in Hódmezővásárhely.

In Makó, the RBIF represented by Chairman Douglas Arnott was accompanied by HM Ambassador Iain Lindsay, Honorary Patron of the RBIF, and Stuart McAlister, Managing Director at Inter Relocation Kft.

Stuart revealed he was delighted Inter Relocation were able to continue their involvement in the SME Scheme:

“Our sponsorship of individual projects, under the stewardship of the RBIF, plays a key role in Inter Relocation’s CSR program. It is incredible that we can make a clear and measurable difference to a hospital in need, by investing in key equipment. I was honoured to have the chance to meet with the staff of the hospital in Makó and to learn first-hand how our donation makes a difference to the staff of the paediatric department, and the children they treat there.”

Very early one cold December morning, when it was still dark, we hit the road to Zalaegerszeg in western Hungary, a place hitherto notable to me only for the unpronouncability of its name. 

I’ve since nailed the pronunciation (I had plenty of time in the car).  Anyway, I was undertaking a day of calls and public engagements on behalf of the Embassy in Zala.  And the most important event I took part in, as a member of the RBIF Curatorium, was the handover of a donation of a bronchoscope to the Zala County Szent Rafael hospital’s paediatric department with Dougie Arnott (Chairman) and Dennis Diokno of FirstMed.  This donation was enabled through our SME Sponsorship Scheme, with FirstMed teaming up with RBIF in this instance to double the value of the donation.

We were lucky enough to be given a tour of the Paediatrics Department by Dr László Gárdos, Head of Department.  There was a festive feel as, on 6 December, all the doctors and nurses were dressed in Santa hats for St Nicholas.  It was touching to meet some patients and their parents, and to witness the serenity and dedication of the staff.  Seeing the newborns was of course a particular joy.  We also saw the helipad of which the hospital was very proud – but sadly (or perhaps happily) no helicopters in sight.

Dr Gárdos received the bronchoscope on behalf of the hospital.  They have not, until now, had their own bronchoscope and he explained how it will help them diagnose a multitude of breathing problems much more easily and treat airway blockages when, for example, babies or children ingest small objects.

Dr Gabriella Halász, President of the Hospital, said it was a huge honour to receive the equipment.  In fact, I felt humbled by the whole occasion and thought, on the contrary, the honour was ours.

Caitlin Jones
Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy
Curatorium Member