Welcome again to our quarterly newsletter. The summer started and the sun is shining in Nkoaranga, while we wait for the short rains to start. But meanwhile a lot of things have happened and are still going on in the hospital – investments in new staff, opening new departments and welcoming visiting consultants and friends to the facility.
1. GENERAL REMARKS AND ACTIONS TAKEN
The normal weekly scheduled management meetings are still taking place. With some changes in HOD (head of departments), we faced some difficulties in arranging HOD meetings but it is our hope that from November onwards these HOD meetings will be scheduled again. Some important topics that were discussed during meetings with the management and other stakeholders.
1. OPD construction (see point 2 constructions)
2. The shortage of staff a. In the three month period, investments were made to hire some additional nursing staff and laboratory staff to fill up the gaps and work together towards quality patient care at the hospital. The operating theatre received 2 extra certificate nurses and an extra nurse anaesthesiologist, one certificate nurse started at obstetrics and a new assistant laboratory technician joined our laboratory team in order to reduce waiting times at the lab. b. Still the hospital faces an extreme shortage. This is partially due to the fact that the Government is not employing staff, meaning that at our facility retired staff on the Government grant is not replaced. Also the budget of the hospital does not allow to hire the minimum needed staff on their own payroll.
3. The start-up of teaching sessions organised by the medical and paramedical staff has been on the discussion table for quite a bit. In October the hospital will, through one of its partners, invest in some computers for the small library/ morning hand over room so it will become easier to plan and set up these sessions in the near future.
4. The return of Dr. Mollel. Dr. Mollel, who worked as general practitioner before in Nkoaranga, finished his studies successfully in KCMU (Moshi) and is now as consultant general surgery a part of the Nkoaranga staff again. With two full time consultants on the ground, the hospital expects a continuous increase in patients and further improvements in the quality of patient care.
2. CONSTRUCTIONS AND RENOVATIONS
As mentioned in the previous section and in the last newsletter, some renovations and changes were made at the OPD section (see picture). We are still waiting for curtains to put in the emergency department, so we can give severely ill patients privacy and emergency first care on the stretchers. But currently all other rooms at OPD are in full use and the minor theatre expanded tremendously.
In order to increase the privacy of patients with a threatening abortion or miscarriage, a separate room in the female ward is now designated for these procedures.
In the next months we hope to slowly start to expand the medical records room. This expansion will go together with the planned introduction of the hospital computerised system, expected mid-2017.
Our palliative care team moved to their newly renovated building. They opened a day care for their patients and will be able to increase their services and so on.
Mid July we started our annual exchange program with Duke University students through the Engineer World Health Program. Two very enthusiastic young engineer students came 4 weeks to the hospital and assisted us with reviving old equipment’s and assisting and teaching our Tanzanian electrician on new techniques. They designed our beautiful new infant warmer!
In August, The Greater Milwaukee Synod, a long-time partner, came for a visit to the hospital. A short but intense and nice visit to follow up the progress of the hospital.
Mid-September, Feuerkinderteam with Dr. Schraml was welcomed again in the hospital. A lot of paediatric orthopaedic patients received a life changing surgery.
For the first time we also partnered with the VIA university (Denmark) summer program, which sends students over the summer for short but well defined internships to different facilities. We received a physiotherapist student and a student in biomedical engineering. Although they only spend a short time at the hospital, we learned from each other and a new partnership started!
We had interested Doctors visiting the hospital bringing useful materials and in some cases maybe the start of new partnerships! We look forward to broaden our group of friends and partners.
Also great opportunities to go abroad are offered to our staff. Dr. Kiwesa attended the yearly SIGN conference. As he says himself- an interesting and amazing opportunity to improve the orthopaedic care worldwide. Thanks to our partner, SIGN fracture care.
Karibu to all partners and friends around the world to visit the hospital and witness our improvements and the effects of all your kind help!
4. OUR STUDENTS
Congratulations to Dr. Mollel. He completed successfully his studies at KCMU and is now our full time general surgeon. A lot of people in our catchment area will benefit from his knowledge and this service in our facility.
September-October 2016- the start of a new school year. In June-July 2016, the hospital management informed the staff that 2 students could start university this year on full scholarships.
After going through all documents and applications two staff members were chosen: 1. Jackson Akyoo – Diploma in Laboratory Science 2. Samwel Sarakikya – Diploma in Accountancy
These scholarships were possible through the generous donation and partnership with Speranza Tanzania (Italy) and Nkoaranga Watoto (Belgium).
During the school breaks we met all our current enrolled students – we received all their results and are happy to say to all proceed again to their next year. We would like to thank all their donors who continue to invest in the future of our staff!
In our last newsletter we talked about the X-ray that needed an urgent replacement. We received a lot of suggestions and help from our readers and hospital partners all over the world. THANK YOU ALL! In our next newsletter we will reveal the concrete plans and steps towards this machine, that will make a big difference in the care for our patients.
Besides of the hospital machinery we still face extreme shortages in staff, mainly nursing staff as mentioned earlier in the newsletter. Though, the hospital has for sure improved tremendously in staffing levels. We want to continue to work towards improving care and with that, finding ways to increase the knowledge of our existing staff and investing in new staff.