Supporting a Health Assistance Program in Kafue District Hospital, Zambia

Project location: Zambia, Kafue District
Project start date: June 2012 - Project end date: May 2013
Project number: 2012-031
Beneficiary: Voci di Popoli nel Mondo


This project's aim is to strengthen and upgrade the surgical clinical and training activities provided by the Kafue District Hospital (KDH), in Zambia. KDH services a population of ab. 165.000, 77% of which is formed by children and fertile women. The most common pathologies in the area are, as in many developing countries, malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Maternal and childbirth complications are widely diffused in the region as well. Recently, a growth has been reported of pathologies that are usually to be found in the developed countries such as: gastrointestinal and thyroid cancer and, among the chronic diseases, diabetes has joined vascular and brain pathologies as a dangerous killer.
To cure the local population, an health centre was built that, in 2006-2009, grew into an hospital, the KDH. The KDH is a district hospital equipped with a new operational theatre, a department for surgical and medical assistance, and diagnostic services of ultrasonography and echocardiography.

The hospital has also a telemedicine service connected to the internet and an electricity generator that enables the structure to function in case of black outs. Notwithstanding such upgrade, the hospital is still unequal to the health necessities of the population: often understaffed it suffers too from a brain drain because the more prepared staff move to more prestigious institutions or abroad, as soon as they gain enough medical experience. The insurgence of the above mentioned oncology gastro-intestinal pathologies, that are quite new to the area, and that consequently are less known to the staff, makes the enhancement of the surgical service and the training of the local Medical doctors and the hospital staff, even more urgent.

KDH needs more support to provide the population with adequate and appropriate cures. The project activities are centred on the dispatching of Italian hospital staff to the KDH in charge both of sustaining the local staff in their medical activity and of training the medical officers, particularly in the surgical field, and of the nurses and the technicians in the ward in order to provide correct assistance to the patients and adequate diagnostic procedures.
The Italian hospital staff, whose hospital service in Zambia will be paid by the Regione Lazio (2 - February 2004 law, art. 71), is suited for both the activities of health services provision and of training, as the previous projects conducted in the developing countries by the Ngo VPM has shown. The project is based on the dispatching of expatriate MD to the KDH.
The 3/2 expatriate medical doctors (2 months mission each) are experts surgeons, with the aim to assist the local staff in the surgical activities and to fortify the staff's motivation with regular clinic meetings and educational courses and training on the job. A special care shall be devoted to sterilization, the operating table preparation and the emergency set.
The 2 expatriate surgeons or doctors (ab. 1 month each) constitute a specialist support to the surgical activities in anaesthesia-intensive care, first-aid-emergency and ward post-operation assistance to the patients.
Training will be provided to doctors and nurses in order to upgrade the Cesarian-section (LCS) services.
During the ward activity the expatriate surgeon together with the 3 local Medical Doctors will organize on the job educational sessions for nurses.
Surgical disposable materials and equipments will be carried by the expatriates or shipped.

The structural results of this project, which received a grant from the Nando Peretti Foundation, will be:
- the increase of the surgical operations, particularly in the oncology sector;
- the reduction:

a) of hospital mortality and clinic recurrences;

b) of the number of transferred patients to the National hospital in Lusaka (60 KM far) especially in the emergency.

think global, act local
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