Nkhoma Hospital is a 220-bed health facility, located in the central region of Malawi, about 15 kilometers from Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital. Missionaries of the Dutch Reformed Church built the Nkhoma mission station in a picturesque area on the side of a mountain more than 100 years ago. It is supported today by the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian, as part of CCAP’s Nkhoma Synod. The hospital staff includes PC(USA) mission co-worker Dr. Barbara Nagy, a board-certified internist and pediatrician. Dr. Reynier ter Haar from the Netherlands is the health coordinator.
The hospital complex includes facilities for general medicine, surgery, pediatrics, maternity, ophthalmology and a TB unit. New construction and improvements are underway on nurses’ housing, a guardian shelter and renovations of the children’s ward.
Child welfare and antenatal clinics have been conducted at Nkhoma since the 1930s. A mobile service for children younger than 5 and antenatal care have been operated at three sites out of Nkhoma Hospital since 1979, and a Nutritional Rehabilitation Unit has been serving malnourished children for 20 years. The Nutritional Rehabilitation Unit helps children recover from malnutrition while teaching their mothers how to grow and prepare a healthy variety of traditional foods. Health education activities are carried out in more than 250 villages. For women, the VVF Program, which provides surgical repair of vesto-vaginal fistulas, has seen an 80 percent increase in patients since 2000.
Nkhoma is at the center of a collaborative new malaria prevention program which began as a pilot project in 2009 with funding from International Health & Development. Carefully monitored indoor spraying to reduce mosquito populations substantially reduced cases of malaria. The project is being continued and expanded in the Nkhoma area.
As the HIV/AIDS epidemic has gripped Malawi, the Nkhoma Synod Community HIV/AIDS Project has grown to include prevention activities, home-based care, orphan support, education, testing and counseling.
Nkhoma Hospital has been known as a center for ophthalmology since the 1920s when early cataract surgery earned the hospital a reputation as a place where the blind could be helped to see again. Mobile eye clinics now serve outlying villages.
The hospital also serves as a training institution, with a nursing school that trains general nurses and midwives, and as a referral hospital for an extensive satellite system of smaller hospitals and clinics.
Improvements to the local infrastructure including the completion of a paved road to the hospital have increased the number of people seeking care. Now more than 25,000 outpatients are treated each year.
The work of Nkhoma Hospital is assisted through Extra Commitment Opportunity Account #051772.