There are two inpatient wards. Each main ward has 22 beds: 4 intensive care, 8 men’s beds, 8 women’s beds, one private room and one isolation room. The main ward also includes a nurse’s office, and a preparation and sluice room. One ward is for surgical patients while the other is for medical cases. There are usually two nurses and two assistant nurses on duty during the day, and one nurse and an assistant nurse at night.
A gospel service is held each morning at 07h30, followed by a health/hygiene talk and then the doctors’ ward round. There are also evangelistic talks and prayers in the wards each evening. Basic care is provided by patients’ relatives: bringing food, emptying bedpans, helping the patient with walking etc. Most patients stay in hospital for between one and five days. The majority of patients are either acute or routine surgical patients, or acute medical or paediatric patients.
Common medical conditions requiring admission include dysentery, typhoid, meningitis, gastro-intestinal bleeding, and pneumonia. Occasionally we admit psychiatric patients, particularly those who have taken overdoses. Paediatric patients include children with severe diarrhoea, malaria (particularly cerebral malaria), pneumonia, meningitis, and Burkitt’s lymphoma.
The relatives of patients either stay with family nearby, or rent a room in Ambohimandroso, the adjacent village (mostly mud huts, but some are brick houses), or stay in ‘Betela’ (Bethel) on the hospital site. Betela consists of 10 buildings each with 2 rooms. Each room has one bed and mattress and the family will rent one room in which all the relatives will sleep. They cook on wood or charcoal in the area provided. There is a toilet and shower room available, but water must be carried there by bucket. Patients often stay in Betela after they have been discharged, so that they can attend for further dressings or treatment.