Makiungu Hospital Tanzania

Makiungu Hospital is located 31 km southeast of Singida Town on the high central plateau of Tanzania - a semi-desert area encompassing 12,164 square km of mainly sandy soil. There is one rainy season or two shorter rains from late November to the beginning of January and then from about February to May.

The main tribe is the Wanyaturu. They are agro-pastoralists growing several types of millet, maize, sweet potatoes and groundnuts. They herd cattle, goats and sheep and use donkeys for transporting some goods. The main cash crops are groundnuts, cotton, sunflower seeds and onions.

Patients attend from approximately 100 surrounding villages.

The hospital has 5 main wards, a private block, isolation section and special care nursery. The official number of beds is 154.

Medical and surgical patients are mixed in the general wards. Those needing more intensive care are nursed nearer to the nurses' station. Maternity has separate antenatal and postnatal wards. There are 2 delivery beds and 3 special beds for post-ops and seriously ill patients. Isolation is used for meningitis, measles, dysentery, tetanus and cholera patients.  There is one major theatre and a minor theatre in the outpatients department. The overall condition of the buildings is good but the male ward and other areas need rehabilitation.

Water is supplied by a bore hole with electric engine and a shallow well. A hospital generator is used during power cuts.

The laboratory is located in the outpatients department. Parasitology can be done on stool, urine and blood. Other tests performed are ESR, haemoglobin, white cell count and differential, and microscopy of urine, stool, cerebrospinal fluid and other body fluids. There is no blood bank but blood is donated by relatives and immediately transfused. Staff try to keep one unit of blood on hand at all times for emergencies. There are no facilities for culture and sensitivity and no biochemistry.

An x-ray service is provided on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and occasionally for emergencies by the radiographic assistant. The ultrasonography service is well utilized. Examinations are performed routinely twice weekly and for emergencies. A new Philips machine was purchased in 2000 for general use and the old ADR machine was repaired and is in the maternity ward.

There is a physiotherapy room and outside parallel bars. Two trained physiotherapy attendants provide this service. There have been no supervisory visits from the regional physiotherapist since 1996.

The pharmacy and I.V. infusion production unit are also located in the OPD and serves both inpatients and outpatients. Intravenous fluids for all the needs of the hospital are produced on site, and some other agencies are also supplied. The ophthalmic department is located in the outpatient department and is equipped to do minor operations as well as to treat outpatients. All eye drops needed are produced in the IV unit.

Sister-doctor Sheila Berthiaume is general surgeon on the staff of Makiungu. In this picture she shows us the special little lion cub that covers her stethoscope that the children love to play with! Her work is complemented by regular visits from specialist surgeons facilitated by the Flying Doctor Service of AMREF (Africa Medical and Research Foundation), whose small planes land on the hospital's own airstrip.

You can download a pdf of the Hospital Report (2007-2009) from Makiungu, covering all departments and statistics.

Sister-doctor Maria Borda gives a feel for the spirit of the hospital in her story about Little Petro's Recovery.