Kambia District Hospital was re-built in 2003/4 after being destroyed in the civil war, and is in good structural condition. It consists of 4 basic wards with minimal facilities (male, female, paediatric and maternity), with one surgical theatre, 2-3 outpatient clinic rooms, and an under 5´s clinic run by nurses. There are additional HIV, TB and Leprosy clinics on the hospital grounds. It is the only hospital in the district serving a population of over 308,000. Electricity is intermittent depending on a generator and fuel. At the time of writing there is no running water in the hospital. The laboratory is able to do basic tests. There are no x-ray facilities, however there is an ultrasound machine mainly used for obstetrics, but can be used any time for other diagnostic tests.
The clinical staff at the hospital consists of a combination of qualified local doctors (1-2), Community health officers, trained nurses and midwives and volunteer nursing aides.
Medical care is not free for patients. They are expected to pay a consultation fee at outpatients, pay for all tests, medications and equipment required for their care, often an admission fee, and then pay for operations if they require them. If patients require transfer to other hospitals for care, they need to pay for the fuel (though this can be negotiated with the hospital management if urgent transfer is required for lifesaving care). All fees are determined by the hospital. There are three groups for whom all medical care is free, they are maternity, lactating mothers and under 5´s (since April 2010).
Maternity ward at Kambia hospital
Volunteer doctors Suzanne, Victoria and Kate in July 2012