Nzama Health Centre require 10 nurses, however, there is not enough staff accommodation. This means that the healthcare staff assess more patients than they are able to, and with very little medical supplies.
On Inter Care’s visit to Malawi in 2019, the team meet Sr Teresa at Nzama Health Centre. The nurse tells the team about the various challenges the facility is facing – especially a lack of resources.
What is it like being a Medical Assistant at Nzama HC?
I see around 30-50 patients a day. We have no lab and this is a challenge because we are so far from the district hospital. Without lab tests it is more difficult to diagnose correctly. We often have to estimate.
What is it like in the catchment area that Nzama HC staff look after?
There are high levels of poverty in this area. Most people here are not employed and depend on their garden farms. The living conditions in the village are not good for healthy living. There are problems with hygiene, water and sanitation. People are sharing space or sleeping alongside the animals.
What sort of cases do you see here at Nzama HC?
I see many cases of skin conditions like scabies and impetigo, a bacterial infections. These conditions spread very easily between people because there are lots of people living together in close quarters. One child gets an infection and the next thing the whole family will contract it.
How Inter Care helps us…
Running out of medicines is one of our biggest challenges. We have not been able to purchase more medicines for 8 months now. We are out of stock of so many medicines, especially for skin conditions, so we depend on donations.
Last month we received a shipment of donated medicines from Inter Care and we were so happy when it arrived. The medicines we received were among those that we use the most. Antibiotics like Ciprofloxacin and Amoxicillin syrup for children can treat many different types of infections.