MWANDI UCZ MISSION
The hospital is owned and managed by the United Church of Zambia, with the assistance of other Presbyterian Churches in the US, but also receives Government funding which provides some of the running costs and salaries. This is not enough to cover the budget, and the hospital relies heavily on donations, particularly to keep enough drugs in stock and for the chemicals that are needed for various tests. At present, there are no doctors which means that no surgery can be done, with Medical Officers giving other treatment - Mr. Chibilika and Mr. Chihana (an eye specialist now being funded by Goldborough Church in North Carolina and a group of Irish Christians). Mr. Tembo, who has been a Medical Licensiate at Mwandi for many years is now in Tanzania doing his doctor's training. A Congolese doctor will be arriving shortly and interviews are taking place for a Mission doctor. The hospital is under the administration of Mrs. Kalubi, the Interim Hospital Administrator.
The 82-bedded hospital contains a number of different wards, including an 8-bed maternity ward and a children's ward as well as a delivery room and a fully equipped theatre. The staff consists of 7 RN nurses, 7 EN nurses, including 5 midwives, 3 'dressers' (untrained nurses), 2 ambulance drivers and a number of cleaners and other staff. The most common reasons for people to be admitted is Malaria and TB, and there is a high incidence of diarrhea among children. There is a separate ward for tuberculosis, although another is now being built in order to improve ventilation. There are also plans to rebuild the maternity ward.
(From Left to Right: The hospital; Nurses Station; Children's Ward; Maternity Ward)
Outpatients Department (OPD)
Each day, about 70 people visit the Outpatient Department (see picture on right), some walking for hours to see Mr. Siakakaba, the Registered Nurse. Both the visit and all drugs prescribed is now free, since the Government recently abolished the token fee that each individual paid. There is a TV and video recorder in the OPD to entertain and educate the many people who wait for hours to be seen.
Mother & Child Health (MCH)
This is a static clinic which provides antenatal care and monitors children under the age of 5. Vaccinations for tetanus, measles, TB, diphtheria, polio and whooping cough are given as a matter of course. Outreach clinics also occurs on a regular basis, with a couple of nurses visiting rural villages to administer vaccinations (see left).
Pastoral Care & Counselling Centre (see right)
HIV/AIDS is a massive problem in Mwandi, with an estimated 1 in 3 people carrying the virus. Pre & Post test Counselling is now a Government requirement for anyone choosing to have an HIV test, both to help the person come to terms with carrying the virus and to prevent the spread of it in the future. Pregnant mothers are particularly encouraged to be tested, with a program set up called Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT). If they deliver at the hospital, a drug can be given which greatly decreases the chances of the baby being HIV+.
On Tuesday and Thursday there is ART (Antiretroviral Therapy) clinic which registers and monitors people living with HIV. The Government provides free drugs to give a greater quantity and quality of life. Some are give prophylaxis in an effort to stop any infections, whilst if the immune system has deteriorated beyond a certain point Antiretroviral drugs are given. There are currently over 140 people on Antiretrovirals at Mwandi, a number that is fast increasing. At the moment, Mwandi Mission is not allowed to administer Antiretrovirals to children, a situation that will hopefully change soon.
Left: The laboratory where testing is done.