Although the hospital in Abeka (CHA) is basic, poorly equipped and has a limited electricity supply, the highly committed team of professionals - two doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacist and technician - provide much-needed health care and education. They provide maternity care, including caesarian sections. Malaria is common and, with it, anaemia. Typhoid and diarrhoea are much reduced thanks to clean water. QPSW recently made a grant of £10,600 over three years for the purchase of hospital equipment, and an ultrasound scanner and a new operating table have been purchased.
The project, and associated projects funded by the charity were visited by three Trustees, one a medical doctor, during February 2020. Helpful discussions were held with staff at the hospital with the aim of identifying priorities for future assistance. These included anticipating possible needs consequent on Covid, which, although increasing in neighbouring areas has not yet directly impacted on the locality. Useful discussions with local and regional government health officials regarding future support for the hospital took place, and are continuing these indicate that the hospital has been chosen as the site for a Unified Nutritional Support Service, subject to finding a funding partner. We were also informed later in the year, that a forthcoming World Bank programme supporting the Zone de Santé is expected to include improvements at the hospital.
Support to the hospital for salaries of key staff, in partnership with funding from the Zone de Santé, was continued as in previous years. The activity levels in the hospital were largely unchanged.
We also provided funding for a number of items of equipment during the year including solar panels and a refrigerator, a motorcycle ambulance, replacement mattresses, a ventouse, a contribution towards drugs, and an allowance towards materials for managing Covid. Flooding from Lake Tangyanika, which has now subsided, affected one of the health centres, and support was provided to help mitigate some of the damage.
We are delighted to have made real progress in integrating our hospital into the regional system.
Some of our funding was possible following grants to us from Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW) Technical equipment has to be purchased in Burundi, although the closure of the border with DRC due to Covid, made this very difficult.