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Inter Care sends high quality medical aid to rural health units in sub-Saharan Africa

Health Units We Support

  • Madonna Clinic, Ghana

    “ I wish to express my profound gratitude to Inter Care for the gift of medicines you sent us. The parcels were received without any problem and we remain ever grateful to you. ”

    - Madonna Clinic, Ghana
  • St John the Baptist Health Centre, Cameroon

    “ We are writing with so much joy. We have received the medical aid you sent us and we are very happy with it. The medications will really be of great help to us and our patients, especially the poor and vulnerable. ”

    - St John the Baptist Health Centre, Cameroon
  • Donald Richards Memorial Centre, Ghana.

    “ Without Inter Care’s presence in our life, certainly our services to the sick here would never have been the same. Your donations were of great support to us in providing quality heath services to the sick and poor who attend our facility. ”

    - Donald Richards Memorial Centre, Ghana.

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  • Tatum Health Centre
  • Tatum Health Centre

Tatum Health Centre

Tatum Convent was one of the first established by the European Franciscan Sisters when they arrived in Cameroon in 1935 (European and African Sisters are united in the one Congregation today) and the Health Centre was added in 1970. It serves a population of some 10,000, 22km from Kumbo in the North-West Province. There are 68 beds and a total staff of about 8. Maternal and child-health clinics are supplemented with monthly visits to 3 out-reach stations and the HIV/AIDS activities include prevention of mother-to-child transmission and education and community home-based care programmes.

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  • St Francis of Assisi Hospital
  • St Francis of Assisi Hospital

St Francis of Assisi Hospital

This hospital founded in October 2005 and situated 7km from Bamenda Town has been supported by Inter Care since November 2009. The condition of the roads is very poor which is impassable in the rainy season and they have little water supply. The hospital has dug wells for patients’ use. The population that the hospital supports currently stands at 14,850. The hospital has 5 wards and a total number of 28 beds with 11 staff including a midwife. There are many outpatients and 20-25 babies are delivered per month.

The most common diseases treated at the hospital are malaria, gastroentereitis, HIV/AIDS, pneumonia, typhoid, asthma and diabetes. After a visit by Inter Care in February 2010 it became very evident that our support is badly needed as there is a major problem with patients who cannot afford to pay for their medicines. Currently Inter Care sends 75% plus of their medicine supplies. They are also desperate for small surgical instruments, especially episiotomy scissors.

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  • Madonna Clinic
  • Madonna Clinic

Madonna Clinic

Madonna Clinic is located a short way off the main Kumasi – Accra Road, around 45 minutes drive south of Kumasi. A small, but well-run clinic which serves around 6,000 people, Madonna Clinic recently celebrated the opening of their new lab. The 4 midwives who assist the Nurse in charge, Sr. Annette, are extremely competent.

The Clinic has close links with nearby St Anne’s Clinic (also one of Inter Care’s beneficiaries) and staff from the two units cover each other in case of absence. The tiny clinic manages to fit in 13 beds for inpatient cases and holds daily outpatient clinics which include maternal child health, immunisation and general medical clinics. The clinic has to be completely self-sufficient as it receives no government funding or any other source of support at all.

Inter Care visited in September 2010 where they proudly showed us the lab which we helped to provide and they now test for malaria, anaemia and do urine analysis. The lab had run out of HIV/AIDS test strips and were waiting on more from the Government.

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  • Kings Village, Tolon
  • Kings Village, Tolon
  • Kings Village, Tolon

Kings Village, Tolon

After a visit in September 2010, Inter Care started to support this village. The village is the brainchild of Ben, a Ghanaian Pastor, and Marion, a teacher from Nottingham, who are both members of the Assembly of God Church. It was started in 1997 and the village opened in 1999. They must take most of the credit for the successful funding and procurement of equipment and staff. The village now consists of a school, a hospital and a nutrition centre as well as a farm and housing.

The school, which started with 3 small classrooms, has 300 pupils. The catchment area for the school is a radius of 70 miles with a population of 165,000. Ben and his team have obtained sponsorship for the school fees of over 80% of the children attending the school (from individuals and groups) and they are giving the rest free schooling.

They have also obtained sponsorship for the registration fees for the GHI for 25,000 children and 80% of the adults in the area. They receive no money from government other than repayment of medical bills through the NHI which is unreliable but does come eventually.

They have their own farm and as a result of a visit from David Purdy they are farming “Gods Way” using natural fertilisers, etc. The results have been amazing and where they were getting 2.75 tons of soya per acre, they are now getting between 5 and 7 tons. They also have a pilot scheme to train farmers in the district to use this method of growing crops.

The medical centre opened in 2006 with Dr Felicia at the helm with a team of 3 other doctors and 2 students, it has since been upgraded to a hospital where they have male/female surgical and medical wards, paediatric, and maternity wards. They have an ultrasound machine and the staff to use it. The doctors and the pharmacist seemed to be very aware of their capabilities and presented a very frank view of which medicines they would be able to use, should Inter Care decide to support them. They do buy a lot of medicines, their drug bill is £15,000-£20,000 per quarter, but they are concerned about the many substandard drugs which they receive. Treatment failures due to poor quality drugs are common and they would much appreciate a source of reliable medicines, however small. They are in need of small instruments and gloves, etc, and completed a drug questionnaire before we left. They have few HIV/AIDS patients who are referred to Tamale for counselling, treatment and monitoring. They have a particularly effective nutritional centre with a compound for mothers and babies to live in until the children are well enough to return home. They also encourage the fathers to come and stay and bring food for their families if possible, thus giving them the responsibility of looking after their families.

www.thekingsvillage.org

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  • Hand-in-Hand

Hand-in-Hand

Operation Hand-in-Hand is a community of 70 children with severe physical and mental disabilities. Some of the children are orphans, others have been abandoned by their families and some come to live at Hand-in-Hand because their families are no longer able to manage their complex needs. All of them have been welcomed into small ‘families’, each with their own house and carer at the Hand-in-Hand village.

Hand-in-Hand is run by a Ghanaian / Dutch doctor (who also works at St Theresa’s Hospital nearby, another of Inter Care’s beneficiary health units), her American husband and several trained carers with the support of a local Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapist. With the responsibility of the future security of these children, the staff are working towards self-sufficiency and have established a small farm which produces enough food for the children with some surplus to be sold at market.  They have also started up a satellite internet café and a sheltered workshop, which provides training to some of the older children in handicrafts such as sewing and bead-making which are then sold for income for the centre. Hand-in-Hand is adjacent to a specialist school for disabled children which was set up by the centre.

Following its huge success, the school has now been taken over by the government but children from Hand-in-Hand still attend the school. Inter Care supports Hand-in-Hand by providing them with some of the specialist medicines that the children need to control their conditions, such as epilepsy, few of which are available at an affordable price in Ghana. In addition, basic medicines for their general health needs, such as painkillers and antibiotics, are sent.

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  • Fistula Care Centre
  • Fistula Care Centre
  • Fistula Care Centre

Fistula Care Centre

Inter Care has been supporting The Fistula Care Centre (FCC), based in Lilongwe, Malawi, since 2015. FCC provides a holistic approach to the care and rehabilitation of women with obstetric fistula, a devastating childbirth injury. This 35 bed unit has its own dedicated operating theatre and has the capacity to treat more than 400 women every year.

Obstetric fistula most commonly occurs among women who live in low-resource countries, who give birth without access to medical help. If a woman’s labour becomes obstructed, she can remain in excruciating pain for days, in most cases the baby dies and she is often left with an obstetric fistula, a small hole created by constant pressure from the foetus. The psychological impact of obstetric fistula can be devastating. As well as the despair of losing a child, most women and girls, due to the incontinence caused by the condition, are ostracised by their families and communities.

Although it is preventable and treatable, there are an estimated 2 million women suffering from untreated obstetric fistula in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Approximately 80-95% of obstetric fistula can be cured surgically, yet for every woman that receives treatment, at least 50 go without (WHO).As well as surgery, FCC provides patients with access to micro-finance, vocational training, literacy, numeracy and arts and craft classes.  Many former patients join FCC’s Ambassador Programme, visiting communities to educate them about fistula and to refer women for treatment. FCC also runs a training programme for health professionals. After being treated at FCC, many of the women are successfully reintegrated back into their families/communities.  With their condition cured, their newly acquired skills and increased self-esteem, the majority go on to lead happier, more fulfilling lives.

As well as surgery, FCC provides patients with access to micro-finance, vocational training, literacy, numeracy and arts and craft classes.  Many former patients join FCC’s Ambassador Programme, visiting communities to educate them about fistula and to refer women for treatment. FCC also runs a training programme for health professionals. After being treated at FCC, many of the women are successfully reintegrated back into their families/communities.  With their condition cured, their newly acquired skills and increased self-esteem, the majority go on to lead happier, more fulfilling lives.

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  • St Patrick’s Health Centre, Rumphi
  • St Patrick’s Health Centre, Rumphi
  • St Patrick’s Health Centre, Rumphi

St Patrick’s Health Centre, Rumphi

A relatively small health centre, this is situated along winding roads and hills and amid mounds of huge fallen granite blocks some 65 km from the large town of Mzuzu in northern Malawi. The Rosarian Sisters and other staff at this Health Centre have been serving the surrounding rural population since 1950. There are 24 beds, used mainly for maternity cases.

Out-reach clinics serving many villages are on the road once a week in 3 villages, the farthest of which is 24km from Rumphi.  HIV/AIDS is prevalent and programmes of health education and home visiting supplement the treatment provided at the centre itself. Serious cases are referred to the Government District Hospital at Rumphi.After a visit in September 2009, we discovered that on average 20% of their patients presented with symptons of malaria. They had no other donated medical supplies and their shelves were very poorly stocked.

They are in a very poor rural area and need the assistance from Inter Care to help those patients who are unable to pay for their treatment.  In 2012 when we visited, we discovered that they have 40 HIV positive patients who are on ART and around 5 – 10 deliveries per month. The area was poorer than when we visited in 2009 and there were a large number of malnutrition cases.

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  • Namulenga Health Centre
  • Namulenga Health Centre
  • Namulenga Health Centre

Namulenga Health Centre

This Health Centre, 35 km from Blantyre, is another of those run by Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was started in 1968 to serve a population without access to any other medical help. It has 25 beds, mostly used for maternity and paediatric cases. They have between 12-33 deliveries per month. Recent extensions have enabled the development of better education and treatment for those suffering from HIV/AIDS. 40-45% of all antenatal patients are HIV positive and as a result are given Nivirpine at delivery. It runs a TB programme and the staff go out regularly taking a mobile clinic to 20 villages in the region (the farthest being 12km away) as well as offering ante-natal and child health clinics at the Health Centre itself.

After a visit in September 2009, it was evident that the Health Centre was very close to the Mozambique border and 65% of their patients come from across the border along with the Malawi population of 10,000 people that they serve. They had just built a cholera block but unfortunately, like a lot of new buildings in Malawi, had no staff therefore was not in use yet.  They also had a small dental clinic and laboratory.After a visit in September 2012, it was discovered that the clinic had financial problems and no money to buy medicines.

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Adventist

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Nixon Memorial Hospital

There has been a hospital in Segbwema since the 1930s which was widely acclaimed throughout Sierra Leone and was the pride and joy of the Methodist Church. But then in 1990 came the rebel war and Segbwema was one of the first towns to be hit. Initially the staff did their best to keep the hospital running even though they were often not paid. Eventually the rebels overran the hospital, there was massive wanton destruction and the staff had to flee for their lives into the bush.

Gradually wards, outpatients, staff accommodation and a nursing school have been re-built – much of it financed by the government of Sierra Leone. However, development of services has been very slow because of the immense poverty of the area. Roads are in poor condition and water is supplied through bore holes and local rivers, which means that one of the most common diseases treated is bilharzia and that hookworms are common. The other major problem and the main cause of death is malaria.

The hospital has 100 beds and serves a rural catchment area of about 30,000 local people. There is one resident doctor with 6 nurses and 2 midwives.

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  • Bai Bureh Memorial Hospital

Bai Bureh Memorial Hospital

The hospital was founded in 1971 as a private hospital.  It was intended to be a profit-making business but with the death of the founder it became a self governing organisation that has to pay a lease to the founder’s widow, but does not operate as a for-profit clinic.

Located in Lunghi, it is across the water from Freetown accessible via very poor roads. The hospital suffered serious damage during the civil war and it was at one time used as a base for AU troops and the firing of heavy weapons from the roof resulted in structural damage to the building, rendering it no longer watertight. As a consequence of this, the x-ray equipment was rendered inoperable by water damage soon after installation.

The hospital provides healthcare cover for 15,800 people that come from a fairly large area that includes the airport and its workers and some people come from Freetown. The hospital employs 2 doctors, 1 pharmacist and 18 nurses (including 2 midwives) who treated around 500 outpatients and had 100 inpatient admissions in January 2010 alone. Inter Care began support for this hospital after a visit in February 2010 as their needs, like many others, are very great.

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  • Simanjiro Rural Health Centre

Simanjiro Rural Health Centre

Simanjiro is one of the most remote of the health centres supported by Inter Care. Although only around 100 km from Arusha, in dry weather it takes up to 5 hours or more by road, which is mainly a deeply rutted track. In the rainy season this is often completely impassable. A small plane, piloted by priests from Arusha, is therefore often used to deliver supplies. The priests have also become adept at inoculating babies.

12,000 people – mainly migrant Masai – live within a 70 km radius of the centre, which has 45 beds and at busy times patients have to share them, sometimes as many as three people to one bed. People will walk literally miles to seek help at this centre, which sees up to 100 patients a day. The centre cannot perform surgery of any sort but they will suture wounds and deal with all the common complaints such as malaria, burns, gastrointestinal disorders, pneumonia, typhoid, TB, HIV, STDs, worms and snake bites.

Inter Care visited the clinic in August 2011, which has 2 Clinical Officers (one of whom is at present in Dar-es Salaam training to be a doctor), 2 Nurse Midwives, 1 Lab Assistant, 4 Nurse Assistants (2 of these are training to work as Paramedics as well as Nurse Assistants).  There are 45 beds in Male and Female wards, Maternity Paediatrics, and they are in the process of creating an Isolation Ward. They have trained Counsellors for VCT and the government provides them with the necessary HIV test kits and ARVs. There are 56 registered HIV positive patients but it is estimated that there are many more that have come forward to be tested. A mobile clinic visits 5 of the villages each month for VCT and MCH. To be able to do this they get a grant of $1,000 per year for fuel. The government gives a small allowance to staff for outreach visits and they have also received support from them for building work.

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  • Rainbow Centre
  • Rainbow Centre

Rainbow Centre

This unit is on a main road near the Catholic Cathedral in Moshi town centre and was started in the 1980s ostensibly as a ‘coffee-shop’ but its true function was as a semi-official ‘drop-in centre’ for people who suspected they had AIDS and wished to be tested discretely. At first it was run on a shoe-string by a retired male nurse, but nowadays it is run by Sister Ubaldi Kessey and staffed by the medical department of Moshi and is especially helping HIV/AIDS patients. Patients pay 1000 TZ Shillings for testing (about 50p), thereafter treatment is free.

Education and outreach programmes are in operation. They offer home based care via 76 volunteers. The population covered is about 700,000 (Moshi Municipality, Kibosho, Kilema, Himo and Hai).

Inter Care visited in September 2009 and discovered that the staff and volunteers went far and beyond the call of duty, most of the time to help people. It was established that although the centre was well supported by sponsors for salaries, they still had a great need for supplies from Inter Care.

On a visit in 2011, we discovered that the centre saw about 10 patients per day with VCT and they tested around 1,600 patients per year with positive results of around 7%. This was against the Government estimate of 1.9%. All positive results were referred to the Care and Treatment Centre (CTC) with Inter Care being the only charity to donate medicines to them.

The centre have encouraged and helped with the setting up of income generation schemes which include pig rearing, poultry farming, garden projects and goats.

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  • Kilema Hospital
  • Kilema Hospital

Kilema Hospital

Kilema Hospital is situated in the Moshi region of Tanzania on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. It is run by the Sisters of Our Lady of Kilimanjaro and has a catchment of around 228,000. This was the very first hospital in this area to be set up by the European missionaries.

They chose this site – high up on a hill – because the place was too high for the mosquitoes so there is virtually no malaria caught in the area. The place is beautiful, and pine trees (planted by the missionaries to remind them of home) grow alongside lemon and orange trees. To reach the hospital it is necessary to travel on very poor roads up the slope of the mountain and in the rainy season this is virtually but not quite impossible. Years of rains and poor upkeep have turned the only road to the hospital into a rutted dried up river bed in the dry season. Because of their position they have a good supply of clean water from the hills above.

The hospital is today recognised by the Government as a Designated District Hospital, which means the staff salaries are paid, but the subsidies in no way cover all the hospital’s expenses. Inter Care medicines enable the very poorest to be treated free. Dr Ignace Massawe and his team look after the 150 bedded hospital which has to cope with very little in the way of equipment.

kilema

Inter Care visited the hospital in September 2009 and saw the beautiful new care and treatment centre for HIV patients which has 973 patients registered. They are cared for by 3 Clinicians, 2 Pharmacists, 3 Counsellors and 1 Community Liaison Officer. The unit is clearly well organised and used by the people. It was evident that they still need the support of medicines from Inter Care including Patients With Aids (PWA) parcels.

On a visit in August 2011, we found that the hospital appeared to be well run, they had Male, Female, Obstetric and Gynaecological wards in addition to maternity and childrens wards and an out-patient department which saw around 70 patients per day. They also performed major surgery and had visits from an eye surgeon. They had an orphan support scheme which gave help to 210 orphans providing them with food and education (the word orphan often means a child who has lost one parent).  Many are orphans as a result of AIDS and are being cared for by grandparents or older siblings. The program encourages the children to remain within the community with family members and does home visits.

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  • Kayambi Rural Mission Health Centre

Kayambi Rural Mission Health Centre

Kayambi Health Centre is situated in the north of Zambia. It is in a very remote area with no electricity or water and has an official catchment of 13,600, however people still frequent from outside the area. The health centre is currently run by Sister Clementina, who is quite prepared to take on the government on issues such as the improvement of the roads and the lack of electricity in the area. However, she is due to retire shortly. The health centre has its own solar panels which supply enough electricity for most of their daily needs, but not at night. The health centre has a small farm attached to it and grows most of its own grain.

There are 62 beds in 5 wards although they don’t use 20 of them in the isolation ward as they cannot afford to run it. There is a pharmacist and there are 3 nurses (2 are midwives) to cope with the workload which includes 10 outreach clinics as far as 80 km away.  The nearest referral hospital is in Kasama which is 150 km away from Kayambi on roads that are impassable in the rainy season.

Inter Care visited in June 2011 and saw just how remote and needy the health centre is. Although they get medicines from the Government, these are often taken away if somewhere else has a greater need. They keep the supplies from Inter Care in a separate store room as they often need to go to them as they are desperately short of their own. We are grateful to Quorn Church for supporting this clinic.

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  • St Fidelis Hospital
  • St Fidelis Hospital
  • St Fidelis Hospital

St Fidelis Hospital

St Fidelis Hospital is in the Archdiocese of Kasama and is situated about 45 minutes drive from the town of Kasama over very rough roads. It is part of the small community of Chilubula which, in addition to the hospital, includes a church, a convent and a school. The hospital serves approximately 17,466 people, the furthest away of whom have to travel around 80 km to see a nurse or doctor.

They have recently finished building a new operating theatre and are opening a dental clinic. The hospital is run in a very business like and competent way by Sister Elizabeth Chanda and her staff – 5 nurses, 2 midwives and a resident clinical officer. Due to the long distance to the nearest referral hospital and the state of the roads, between them they deal with all but the most serious cases.

The hospital had 70 beds on our visit in June 2011 and they had great potential for development. They had between 20-40 deliveries per month. There were 6 out-reach clinics up to 40 km away. Our contribution made up 40% of their medical needs. They had not long received a consignment from Inter Care when we visited, however all of the paediatric syrup and creams had gone in the first 2 weeks. They had a well equipped laboratory. They aspired to offer 3 meals per day, however this was not always possible due to finances.

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  • Mporokoso School for the Blind

Mporokoso School for the Blind

Mporokoso School in northern Zambia is situated about 186 km from Kasama, which because of the state of the roads, can easily take a day to reach. There are currently 61 children who are all either blind, partially sighted or albino (50%) who are looked after by Sister Hilary, the headmistress of the school.

Many of the children suffer from sunburn due to the lack of pigmentation in their skin and obviously there are a large number of eye diseases. Many of the children have been left blind or with failing sight as a result of living in the Kapata region where many eye infections are picked up from the lake water. The school makes all its own Braille books by translating text books and reading books including an edition of the bible. Sr Charity and Mr Wilson treat any and all of the health problems that the children and families in the immediate area encounter.

Inter Care visited in June 2011 and saw the amazing work of the school. The children have such an air of confidence about them and you can see what good work is being carried out there. We supply 100% of their medical needs which is thanks to supporters such as the Ulverscroft Foundation and Bethany Green.

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