The Sikuanzwe Rural Health Centre is located in Kazungula District, 50km from Livingstone hospital. The health centre serves a population of 7,714 spread over 9 communities. In this area there are outreach posts up to 15km from the health facility with no means of transport.
The health centre has 2 nurses, and 1 Environmental Health Technician.
Biggest challenges at the health centre
Due to its remote nature, and poor facilities, the health centre and surrounding communities face the following key challenges
- Limited power
The facility has solar power but is only sufficient to provide power for a few hours a day. Supporting a small fridge for medicine storage. This means they often have to treat patients in the dark at night
- Limited availability of medication
- Limited access to clean water
The majority of communities collect water from streams and open wells. The facility itself has a bore hole, but it often dry’s during rainy season
- Limited resources
Despite having over 15 births per month at the facility, they do not have a delivery bed, and the mother’s shelter has no beds.
During rainy season (November through April) this area becomes completely flooded, making the roads impassable by vehicle. Most residents move around by small boats carved out of trees, but these are mostly men going to catch fish. This makes it extremely difficult for residents of this catchment to access the clinic for basic diagnoses and treatment services, to deliver babies, or access information about how they can improve their health.
- Most common health issues
Diarrhoea, Respiratory, Chicken pox, Malaria, Disgestive, Skin
On Call Africa began working with Sikuanzwe Rural Health Centre in 2021, to identify its biggest challenges and assess needs both at the facility, and within the communities in it’s catchment area. We place volunteer doctors in the facility, where they work alongside existing nurses and Community Health Workers offering diagnosis and treatment, and supporting outreach activities, while conducting assessments, mapping and developing clear implementation plans for On Call Africa, Ministry of Health and partners to take forward. We also work with partners to deliver public health interventions that meet the individual health needs of each community.
On Call Africa will train Community Health Workers from within the facilities catchment area to strengthen the existing health systems. Ensuring patients have access to medical advice and referrals when needed. The Community Health Workers will be provided bicycles once they complete their training to enable them to carry out home visits for sparsely populated communities.
We are also working with partner organisations to develop programmes to improve power supply, and give access to telemedicine services. We will also work partners to address poor water, hygiene and sanitation practices, as well as transport links within the catchment area.