Hospital Website:

Missions: Free Methodist Church and Serge

Profile: Kibuye Hope Hospital is located in the central region of Burundi (Gitega Province) approximately 2 ½ hours from Bujumbura. It is a 110 bed facility: (30) surgical; (35) maternity; (35) pediatrics; (10) medicine. Long-term expatriate staff include (1) American general surgeon, (1) American family practice doctor, (1) American OBG, (1) American med/peds physician, (1) American ophthalmologist, and (1) American emergency medicine physician. There are also (6) Burundian general medical doctors.

Travel/Orientation: Fly by commercial air to the city of Bujumbura. Please DO NOT book your own international flights before talking with the logistics coordinator at World Medical Mission. The following morning there is a 2 ½ hour drive on a paved mountainous road to Kibuye. Upon arrival, volunteers will be welcomed and oriented by their physician host and the visiting staff coordinator. Orientation will include a short tour of the hospital. Further orientation is achieved through interaction with expatriate and national staff.

Climate: Temperatures range from 60-85 degrees. The rainy season is typically January through April, and the dry season is June through September. No air conditioning is needed at the elevation of 6,000 feet.

Language: French and Kirundi are the primary languages spoken at the hospital. Most medical students speak conversational English and can help translate.

Charting: French. Most documentation is done by the medical and nursing students.

Surgery: There are (3) operating rooms. Two rooms are utilized by surgery and OBG services, and the third by the ophthalmology service. The hospital performs over 600 major operations per year as well as minor surgeries and endoscopies. Operations cover a broad base of basic surgeries including hernias, intramedullary nails, prostatectomies, bowel resections, VP shunts, and ORIFs of various fractures. There is no in-country pathology, but pathology can be sent outside the country if needed. No laparoscopic surgery is done at this point. Most surgeries are done on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with Endoscopies on Tuesday and surgery clinic on Thursday.

Anesthesia: There is General Anesthesia capability, but the vast majority of cases are done under spinal or ketamine. We have two trained Burundian anesthetists (the equivalent of a CRNA in the US). There are no ventilators or ICU care at this time.

Ophthalmology: Kibuye has a fully-functional eye clinic with 4 slit lamp exam stations, a refraction lane, an optical shop, 2 operating microscopes, a retinal laser (indirect and slit lamp attachments), and vitrectomy capabilities, but no phaco functioning yet. There is a role for generalist ophthalmologists and/or sub-specialists. The clinic is full of students all the time who are eager to learn. The staff is well trained and includes two English speakers.

Obstetrics/gynecology: Over 2,000 deliveries are done at the hospital each year. The C-section rate is high with many high-risk deliveries and obstetrical complications referred from outlying health centers. Nurses generally attend vaginal deliveries and Burundian generalists or expat obstetricians perform the Cesarean sections. Gynecology clinic patients are seen on Mondays and gynecological surgeries are performed Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Pediatrics: There are three pediatric services: general pediatrics, neonatology, and a severe acute malnutrition service. The general pediatrics service is busiest between April and June (peak malaria and bronchiolitis season) and generally has between 20-30 patients. The neonatology service includes 4 wooden incubators. UNICEF provides the therapeutic formula and other supplies for the malnutrition service. Burundi has the unwelcome distinction of being the hungriest nation in the world (Global Hunger Index 2014), with 60% of children under the age of five being chronically malnourished. This complicates the clinical course for a majority of patients. The hospital also hosts an outpatient malnutrition program and a weekly pediatric specialty clinic.

Internal Medicine: The hospital has male and female internal medicine wards. As the same nurses staff the emergency department and the internal medicine service, the IM physician generally admits the medicine patients in the emergency room and then follows them throughout their hospital stay. There is an internal medicine specialty clinic on Tuesdays.

Emergency department: The hospital has a 6-bed emergency room. Patients are initially evaluated and triaged by the nurses and the nursing/medical students. Physicians from the appropriate service then staff the patients and determine the treatment plan.

Laboratory: Limited laboratory tests are available, generally including CBCs, malaria smears and rapid tests, urinalysis, creatinine, HIV, Hepatitis B/C, LFTs, blood glucose, type and crossmatch, & sickle prep. No cultures are available.

Radiology: (1) fixed digital X-ray machine. There is (1) ultrasound machine in the surgery clinic, (1) in OBG, and (2) in the emergency room. There is no long-term radiologist on staff.

Common diseases/trauma: The most common conditions treated at the hospitals are traumatic injuries, malaria, URTI/LRTI, gastritis/PUD, hypertension, malnutrition, gastroenteritis with dehydration, TB, meningitis, congestive heart failure, pregnancy related complications, and HIV/AIDS.

Teaching: Kibuye Hope Hospital services as one of two primary teaching hospitals for Hope Africa University medical and nursing schools. Medical students do both clinical rotations and coursework at Kibuye for approximately four months per year during each of their three clinical years. The hospital also trains two surgical interns per year. Volunteer physicians are expected to participate in medical education within their area of expertise.

For More Information: Contact Becky Richmond via e-mail or by phone at (828) 278-1203.