Ekwendeni Hospital

Adult in-patient floor with malaria nets around beds.

Adult in-patient floor with malaria nets around beds.

Ekwendeni, Malawi

Overview

  • Hospital beds – 240
  • Total Staff – 186
  • In Patient Admissions – 6,081
  • Outpatient Visits – 14,441
  • Maternity Deliveries – 2,128

Target Areas for Sustainable Impact

  • Reduction in maternal mortality and infant mortality
  • Improvement in overall community health factors through increasing provision of primary healthcare services
  • Increase preventive healthcare through community outreach programs

Ekwendeni Hospital, a ministry of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, Synod of Livingstonia, is one of the oldest mission hospitals in Malawi. The hospital serves a poor community of over 75,000 people in northern Malawi. It began providing medical care in the late 1890’s and the facilities and services have steadily developed since that time.

In February 1986, a new large hospital complex was completed, expanding the inpatient bed capacity to 240. The hospital includes a well-baby and outpatient building and separate buildings for the maternity, pediatrics and medical units. Each year the hospital provides preventive and curative services to an average of 14,000 outpatients and over 6,000 inpatients.

Preventive services include promoting and encouraging women to receive prenatal care and to deliver their babies at the hospital where there are trained midwives and doctors. The hospital conducts training with chiefs and older women in the community to enlist their help in promoting hospital deliveries. The trainings have helped reduce the maternal and child death, and Ekwendeni is now one of the best hospitals with a low maternal death rate. Every month the number of deliveries at the hospital increases.

A Service Level Agreement with the Malawi government helps eliminate patient fees for maternity care services enabling poor patients to have access to hospital care. However, the government SLA reimbursement does not cover the total actual cost of services and payments are inconsistent and/or delayed, placing a financial burden on the hospitals. MBF and its US ministry partners have entered into an ongoing agreement to help coverthe amount for deliveries not included in the government SLA.

Another of the hospital’s strategic goals is to further reduce community mortality rates by combatting the three main diseases of childhood (malaria, diarrhea and malnutrition through teaching preventive health programs. In conjunction with these programs, the Nutrition Rehabilitation Center feeds sick children and teaches their mothers about diet, nutrition and gardening for vegetables. The hospital also provides mobile clinics for children under five and antenatal patients.

The hospital runs a community based rural development project that coordinates agriculture, spring protection, shallow wells, income generation, child spacing, village health workers, midwives, and women’s loan schemes. A program to assist AIDS victims and their families teaches members of the community to help.