Ekwendeni Hospital is a 210-bed facility with a long history of service to the rural population of over 220,000 in northern Malawi and border regions of Tanzania and Zambia. The hospital began in the late 1890's as a ministry of the Free Church of Scotland. Today, it is operated by the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian (CCAP), Synod of Livingstonia, in partnership with PC(USA), the Church of Scotland and the Presbyterian Church of Ireland.
Support from CCAP's partners has steadily expanded services and facilities, which now include a 24-bed TB ward, a well baby and outpatient clinic and separate buildings for maternity and pediatrics units. The maternity ward includes three nurseries providing care for premature infants as well as normal births. Ophthalmologic and dental surgery are also available at Ekwendeni. HIV, tuberculosis and malaria are the most frequent causes for admission.
Ekwendeni Hospital coordinates an extensive program of community health and prevention education to address the predominant diseases of AIDS and childhood malaria, diarrhea and malnutrition. Families are trained and equipped to care for family members with AIDS in their homes. A Nutrition Rehabilitation Center feeds malnourished children and teaches mothers about diet, nutrition and vegetable gardening.
The hospital also provides mobile clinics for children under 5 and antenatal patients. Community-based malaria prevention initiatives address the endemic problem of malaria.
An orthopedic center, only the second in Malawi, opened in 2006 at Ekwendeni, providing physiotherapy services and prosthetic limbs for amputees.
A nursing school adjacent to the hospital has trained students for more than 50 years. A nurse midwife program, started in 1991, trains birth attendants and provides continuing education for midwives at both Ekwendeni Hospital and at other health facilities in northern Malawi. The hospital runs a community-based rural development project that coordinates agriculture, spring protection, shallow wells, income generation, village health workers, and women's loan schemes. Ekwendeni has a unique outreach through a radio station that facilitates evangelism and health education activities.
Mission co-worker Dr. Martha Sommers is a physician at Ekwendeni Hospital. PC(USA) Mission co-workers Jim and Jodi McGill have lived in nearby Mzuzu, serving the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia since 2000. Jodi is a clinical nursing instructor at the Ekwendeni Nursing School and also works with the CCAP Health Dept. preventive community health programs. Jim works with the synod's Development Department, coordinating clean water and sanitation projects for the synod's three hospitals, and the shallow wells program of the Marion Medical Mission. Ekwendeni Hospital is assisted by gifts to Extra Commitment Opportunity Account #862733.