Hospital Misionero Macha

Macha, Zambia

Hospital Website
Mission Organization
Brethren in Christ Church in Zambia
Macha is a 208-bed hospital with medical and surgical services. There are two adult wards (one male, one female) with a total of 94 beds. There is a separate inpatient TB wards with 24 beds. Many admissions are for HIV-related illnesses. Other admissions are for common internal medicine diseases like heart failure, acute carditis, diabetes, stroke, COPD, hepatic failure, acute infections like meningitis, tropical diseases including diarrheas, malaria, echinococcosis, acute and chronic osteomyelitis, “Norwegian” scabies, viral illnesses, various anemias, and hypertension. The medical staff includes an American family practice physician, an American surgeon/general medicine, an American pediatrician, an ophthalmologist from the Netherlands, and five African medical doctors.
El viaje
Volunteers fly by commercial airlines to Livingstone, Zambia and then have a three-and-a-half hour drive to the hospital.
Diferencia de la hora local
+6 hours daylight saving time, +7 hours Eastern Standard Time
El lugar
Macha Mission is located in the Southern Province of Zambia. It is just 40 miles due west of Chomas on the Namwala Road in southern Zambia. It is three-and-a-half hours from Victoria Falls and Livingstone.
Su gente
Macha Mission Hospital serves approximately 160,000 Nationals. People of the Tonga tribe populate the area, living in small homesteads (villages). Maize is the main crop grown and the staple diet supplemented with peanut, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and other leafy green vegetables such as a relish. Most farmers in the area own cattle, goats, chickens, and guinea fowl, which are sold for cash and provide protein to their diet.
El idioma
English is the official language and is routinely spoken in the hospital and in business transactions. There are 72 tribal languages in Zambia. Staff can interpret for local persons who may not know English. The local language is Chitonga.
El clima
Zambia has three seasons: cool, hot, and rainy. The cool season is from May to July. It is dry, with temperatures from 45–74F. The hot season is from August to October. It is dry, with temperatures from 64–88F. The rainy season is from November to April. Temperatures range from 54–84F.
There is an anesthesia machine available in the theater. Spinal anesthesia and Ketamine are used as a mainstay. Oxygen is provided from large rental cylinders. The doctors on staff handle anesthesia as there are no CRNAs available.
ART Clinic
Antiretroviral medications are prescribed for patients with HIV/AIDS. The client population served is less than 11,000. The clinic is open three days per week. Medical volunteers are allowed to participate in a limited role due to the complexity of paperwork and expectations from the CDC. Clinic outreach on Fridays may offer an opportunity for medical volunteers to visit the rural health clinics.
Community Health Program
There is a hospital department that addresses community health related to Immunizations, HIV Testing, Male Circ Program.
Dental Services include a Dental Tech, tooth extractions, and basic dental care.
Emergency Services
There are acute beds in the Medical/Pediatric wards. Patients are initially evaluated in the 24-hour outpatient clinic.
Diagnostic testing is available but limited due to high cost of reagents for COBAS analyzer blood sugar, creatinine, AST-ALT, bilirubin; Hematol analyzer cbc, ers, sickle cell prep, bleeding time, Blood Bank type-corss; aerobic cultures urine and pus; routine urinalysis. Microbiology is available as well.
Medical Records
Notes are handwritten in English in the patient files.
The OB ward has four delivery room suites and a capacity of 30 beds. Zambian midwives conduct all routine deliveries. There is an average of 3,000 deliveries per year and a complicated delivery rate that includes approximately 300 C-sections per year.
Dr. Samuel Verkerk began an eye clinic and surgery for cataracts and glaucoma at Macha in January 2017. Tamara Verkerk, OD, has opened the full optometry clinical practice. There is also a specialty trained ophthalmology RN.
Outpatient Clinic
An average of 120 patients are seen in clinic each day. Zambian clinical officers triage most patients and refer to the physician for consultation for more complicated cases.
There is a pediatrics ward with 60 beds. Most admissions are for malaria, pneumonia, gastroenteritis, malnutrition and chronic infections, Sickle cell disease.
Physical Therapy
There is a trained Physical Therapist who does day hospital rounds.
Radiographers manage a stationary X-ray machine. There is no radiologist on staff.
The Theater department has an operating room for major surgeries involving anesthesia and 2 minor surgery rooms for D&C's, reduction of bone fractures, injuries, trauma, and abscesses.
Teaching Opportunities

There is a Nursing School with a two-year program for Zambia Enrolled Nurses (ZEN) with approximately 150 students. Visiting surgeons and anesthesiologists will be working with the Zambian medical licentiates or doctors at the hospital. There would be the possibility of some individual clinical instruction in the operating room and on the wards. There would be no specific preparation needed for these interactions with the staff.

Clinical lectures for the medical staff sometimes take place on Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 7:30. If the volunteer doctor had a specific field of interest, it could be arranged for them to give a lecture on that topic to the staff during their visit to Macha Mission Hospital.

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