Health Centres in Kambia are referred to as Peripheral Health Units or PHUs. There are currently around 69 PHUs throughout Kambia district. Some are better than others in terms of structure, facilities, equipment and staffing levels.
The most basic PHU is referred to as an MCHA post – an MCHA is a Maternal & Child Health Assistant and is the most basic level of health personnel. He or she will have completed a basic training programme and are often poorly qualified (something that our scholarship program seeks to change). The building they work in usually very basic in terms of infrastructure and facilities. See examples attached. At the top the scale, you would have a PHU with better staff, often with a CHO, a Community Midwife and an MCHA, plus more medical equipment and in a better structural condition.
Our refurbishment programme tries to repair, or in some cases rebuild, these PHUs, the ongoing costs of salaries and drug supply are met by the MoH but they lack the funds to maintain the buildings.
Costs vary according to the condition of each PHU, with costs of between £4 – £8,000 per PHU, so we are trying to establish a fund in order to undertake the refurbishment of one PHU every year.
Here is a picture of Rokai PHU, in the Sanu Chiefdom, in desperate need of refurbishment.
Below is Barmoi PHU – as you can see, in a much better condition.