Kibuye Hope Hospital

Kibuye, Burundi

Hospital Website
Mission Organization
Free Methodist Church and Serge
Minimum Time Requirement
The hospital asks that you serve a minimum of one month.
Kibuye Hope Hospital is located in the central region of Burundi (Gitega Province) approximately 2½ hours from Bujumbura. It is a 247-bed facility that will expand to 308 beds in 2022. Long-term expatriate and specialist staff include three American general surgeons, a Ethiopian general surgeon, two American family practice doctors, an American OB/GYN, an American med/peds physician, two Burundian ophthalmologists, and an American emergency medicine physician. There are also nine Burundian general medical doctors and eight post-graduate intern doctors.
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 2½ 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.
French and Kirundi are the primary languages spoken at the hospital. Most medical students speak conversational English and can help translate.
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.
French. Most documentation is done by the medical and nursing students.
There are four operating rooms. Three rooms are utilized by surgery and OB/GYN services, and the fourth by the ophthalmology service. The hospital performs over 1,900 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 limited in-country pathology, but pathology can be sent outside the country if needed. No laparoscopic surgery is done at this point.
General anesthesia, spinal anesthesia, and regional blocks are all done routinely. We have six trained Burundian anesthetists (the equivalent of a CRNA in the U.S.). There are no ventilators at this time, but there are four semi-ICU beds set aside for the sickest patients.
Kibuye has a fully functional eye clinic with four slit lamp exam stations, a refraction lane, an optical shop, two operating microscopes, a retinal laser (indirect and slit lamp attachments), and vitrectomy capabilities, and phaco. 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.
Over 1,700 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 C-sections. Gynecology clinic patients are seen on Mondays and gynecological surgeries are performed Tuesdays and Thursdays.
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). The neonatology service includes wooden incubators. UNICEF provides the therapeutic formula and other supplies for the malnutrition service. Burundi has the unwelcome distinction of being one of the hungriest nations in the world (Global Hunger Index), with 50% 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. 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 generalist or emergency physician, the nurses, and the nursing/medical students.
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.
One fixed digital X-ray machine. There is an ultrasound machine in the surgery clinic, one in OB/GYN, one in the internal medicine clinic for cardiac echography, and one 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.
Kibuye Hope Hospital serves 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 the majority of their three clinical years. The hospital also trains post-graduate interns and began PAACS surgery residency in 2022. Volunteer physicians are expected to participate in medical education within their area of expertise.
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