Nyadire United Methodist Hospital, Zimbabwe
About 100 miles northeast of the capital city of Harare is Nyadire, where Nyadire United Methodist Hospital (NUMH) is located. It is a part of the larger Nyadire United Methodist Mission complex, which includes a primary and a secondary school, a teachers college, a United Methodist church, and a cooperative farm. Founded by Samuel Gurney in 1923, the 130-bed Nyadire United Methodist Hospital helps to improve the health and quality of life for the people of Nyadire and the surrounding regions in Mutoko District.
NUMH staff strive to deliver quality health care services and improve the quality of life of people in the community. At Nyadire, the most common patient ailments include tuberculosis, malaria, pneumonia, malnutrition, and hypertension. HIV/AIDS is also commonly seen at the hospital, especially in pregnant mothers. The hospital provides a range of primary and preventative health care services to address these maladies including the following:
- General medicine
- HIV/AIDS program
- Tuberculosis program
- Women's health
- Community outreach programs include immunization, home-based and palliative care and community health education
- Under Five Clinics that provide life-saving vaccines and instructs mothers on how to properly care for their young children
The Nyadire School of Nursing, situated next door to the hospital, currently provides instruction to 80 students from around the country in primary care nursing. The school was forced to close some years ago amidst social and political turmoil, but it reopened in 2004 in response to the alarming exodus of qualified nurses from Zimbabwe to other countries.
Work Continues in the Midst of Challenges
NUMH has many services to offer its patients and the Nyadire community, but there is still a great need. The primary challenge currently facing Nyadire United Methodist Hospital is the retention and adequate training of its staff. In Zimbabwe rural hospitals customarily provide their staff with living quarters. While there are some homes in Nyadire for the doctors and more senior nurses, there are not enough for all of the staff.
Salary and taxation issues that discourage doctors, nurses and aids to work in a mission or other private hospitals compound the lack of housing. At times UMCOR has provided additional salary support for hospital staff to ensure that the people of Nyadire continue to have the medical care they so desperately need.
Supply shortages are a serious issue for Nyadire and hospitals and clinics throughout Zimbabwe. Basic supplies such as gauze and gloves are in high demand. All of the doctors and nurses speak of the need for pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, painkillers, anti-retroviral drugs for HIV patients and test kits for HIV. UMCOR helps to supply these through Medicine Box shipments and facilitating the delivery of additional medicines and supplies, particularly during hard times.
The Nyadire School of Nursing boasts a reputation for training some of the best nurses in Zimbabwe, despite the lack of money, supplies and space. Basic materials such as textbooks, paper and pens are limited. The head tutor also longs for a photocopier and computers for the school. Currently there are not enough dorm rooms to accommodate all of the students. And many students, who arrive at the school with little or no belongings, often do not have enough food to eat.
How You Can Help
In such a challenging environment, the need for increased assistance is urgent. If you are interested in meeting specific needs at Nyadire United Methodist Hospital, contact UMCOR Health.