Atupere Community Hospital

Background

Atupele is a Mission Community Hospital officially opened to the public on 13th August, 2007. It is run by the Sisters of Holy Rosary ( SHR) of Karonga Diocese. The hospital is affiliated to Christian Health Association of Malawi ( CHAM) a Christian organisation that oversees mission hospitals in Malawi.

The hospital catchment area covers 7 Group Village Headmen (GVHs) comprising 32 villages and population of 26,199. Most of the people practice subsistence farming by growing Rice, maize and cassava as food crops.

The hospital records high cases of malaria ,second by pneumonia and diarrhea .

The hospital nearest healthy facilities are Kaporo Rural Community Hospital and Iponga Health Centre. These Government owned facilities are 8km and 15km away from Atupele respectively. Critically ill patients are referred to Karonga District Hospital, a distance of 30 km.

The hospital has 80 employees where 74 are on CHAM payroll and 6 are directly employed by the Hospital. Professional staff are 15 in number while the rest are support staff. Find the segregated cadres below:

Cadre Frequency
Clinical Technicians 2
Medical Assistant 2
Laboratory Assistant 1
Nurses 7
Administrator 1
Assistant accountant 1
Accounts Assistant 1
Support staff 65

Positives
The facility has a better number of technical staff compared to other facilities of same the nature. This includes Enrolled Nurses, Lab Technician, Pharmacy Technician and Clinicians (Medical Assistants and Clinical Officers).

In order to achieve universal access to health the Government is subsidizing patient cost of services through Service Level Agreement (SLA) signed through CHAM. Currently Maternal and new born, under Five and nutrition service is under SLA agreement.

Opportunities: A number of opportunities exist in the catchment area including scarcity of essential drugs and inadequate and poor quality infrastructure in Government health facilities.

The hospital has attained some successes since its inception such as;
  • Increase in patient’s patronage for example from the year 2007 to 2017 the hospital has registered 1103 to 23,407 respectively.
  • Introduction of additional services like ultra sound scanning, laboratory chemistry machine, VMMC activities.
  • In 2015 the hospital was recognised as a centre of excellence in infection prevention (IP)
  • On capacity building the hospital has trained 1 clinical technician , 1 Environmental officer, 1 laboratory assistant and 2 employees are currently pursuing nursing courses in CHAM training institutions.

Despite above success the hospital faces challenges such as;
  • Under staffed of health trained and administrative employees
  • Lack of operation theatre
  • Inadequate medical equipment
  • Inadequate staff houses
  • Lack of resources for capacity building
  • Few and old ambulances
  • Unreliable power supply
  • Poor internet access

In the last two years we carried out the following projects:
  • Renovation of maternity, female and male and paediatric wards
  • Conversion of poultry house into staff house
  • Installation of solar power to maternity, female and male and paediatric wards
  • Procurement of some medical equipment
  • Installation of X- Ray equipment ( not yet commissioned)
  • VMMC project funded by NAC through CHAM.