In charge at Nzega District Hospital is Dr George Mgalega and he has 2 other medical doctors working with him, plus 3 assistant medical officers and 13 clinical officers.
Nurse qualifications are improving thanks to support from FUM and FON.
Four of the 6 nurses below passed all their college exams and so are eligible to enter the exams for the government National Licence scheme. These take place at a small number of designated centres and the students have elected to take theirs at Mwanza, the nearest centre to Nzega. As well as the £50 exam fee they also have accommodation and food costs for the exam week, another £50. FUM and our colleagues at FON are sharing this cost.
Results will not be know until the summer. If they pass then they will be fully licensed to practise as nurses.
Following the success of the 'trial run' with nurse Alexander in 2019 (below) FUM and our colleagues in Friends of Nzega (FON) have sponsored six more nurses from poor families.
All had passed their two-year basic course at Nzega College of Nursing and are now studying for the more advanced Diploma course at Tukuyu in southern Tanzania.
They will then return, fully qualified, to work in Nzega Hospital and will make a great difference to the nurse workforce there, as nurse Alexander did.
It is expected that in the next year or two Nzega College of Nursing will be accredited to teach the Diploma course so student nurses will be able to complete their studies there.
For the past year, at the request of the Nzega District Chairman Honourable Michael, FUM and our colleagues at FON have focused on supporting the training of key medical staff. This includes nurses from the locality who could otherwise not afford the fees.
In 2018 we helped nurse Alexander Revocatus upgrade from the basic level to the prestigious Diploma level. In July he returned to Nzega Hospital and is now the Senior Theatre Nurse.
For two years we supported six nurses through their basic training and they recently started on the Diploma course.
Other support has gone to Dr Amos Petro for an advanced Radiography course, and Dr Mary Mkamwa for an advanced Dermatological course.
FUM only supports training for individuals where they cannot afford the full course fees and when their new skills will directly benefit the people of Nzega. Our constitution does not allow support purely for the personal advancement of an individual.
The new Nursing School is now open and, with an eye to the future, can have another storey added as demand and funds allow. The old one is used as an additional dormitory and its electrical circuitry has been upgraded by our colleagues at Friends of Nzega.
Further discussion with the DMO Dr Sengo about much needed additional nurse training was fruitful. A scheme is now in place to enable nurses at the hospital to upgrade their skills, with the fees for the two year course paid by FUM and FON. There has also been progress to provide support for local people who cannot afford the basic nurse training course. After completion of their course they are expected to work at Nzega hospital for three years.
When we visited in November 2016 Dr Sengo was away training so we were met by Dr Amos Petro who despite being very busy made us very welcome. Also present were Herman Mwenda, Principal at the nurse training college and the Nzega District Executive Director Mr Jacob Mtalitinya.
We discussed the plans of FUM and our colleagues Friends of Nzega to set up a sponsorship scheme for the training of extra nurses. The course lasts two years at a total cost of £900 for each nurse. All agreed that there is a chronic shortage of trained nurses locally so we aim to set up this sponsorship scheme before the next round of recruitment in March 2017.
Richard Pratt and Jo Taylor
FUM Chairman and Medical Liaison Officer
The HIV clinic here is open 3 days a week and sees between 130 – 150 patients each day. Patients, both parents and children, come monthly for their checkups and medication and there is an active CTC programme in place.
The children’s ward admits 10 – 20 children daily and the most common diseases listed were anaemia, pneumonia and malaria, although in July malaria and diarrhoea were the most common.
The operating theatre does elective surgery 2 days a week with emergencies happening daily. The male and female adult wards were quiet, but mosquito nets were in evidence. The maternity ward was busier and there is also an outpatients department for antenatal care, mothers and babies. Here there is a programme of weighing, blood pressure monitoring, HIV testing and counselling, plus a good vaccination programme.
The dentist was busy and had received his box of equipment from UK dentist Paul Davies who visited the hospital and he was already using some of the medication. He was also keen to point out the new posters he had been able to display to boost oral hygiene.
Leah, shown with the dentist, was a UK medical student who did her Elective placement at the hospital.
The Nurse training Centre has recently re-opened and appears to be busy and successful. The laundry has two machines and two full time workers.
The plea here was for a solar panel to be provided to supply light for the maternity wards when the grid power fails. The generator does not supply power to this part of the hospital.
Nurses Support for Nzega Hospital
Five UK nurses spent time at the hospital and also raised funds for it Read more..
FUM Medical Liaison Officer
Zoom in to see the actual building