Update on construction at Mbuma Mission Hospital

Plenty has been done in the last couple of months. Consignments of excavated clay soil exited the hospital gate; lorryfuls of sand came in. The clay was removed from site because it does not afford enough support to the foundations; it was replaced with locally available Kalahari sand, which allows much better drainage. Once the sand had been compacted, the foundations were installed on it. The floor is now in place, and all the doorframes and windowsills have been delivered, so we can get started on the walls.

We’re glad to have the foundations in place, especially now that we’ve entered monsoon season, when cloudbursts are a regular occurrence. This time of year is also a more pleasant temperature to work in; in November, the thermometer was pushing 40 degrees for days on end. The photos give you an impression of how the building works have been progressing. We would like to thank you warmly for your financial support, without which the project could not have been undertaken.


Casting the floor of the new pharmacy

Digging out and sealing the new sand channel

Laying the foundations of the maternity department

Fresh bricks delivered

General view of the building site

Construction and expansion at Mbuma Mission Hospital

Looking through the Mbuma budget, you may have come across items once or twice for the extension of Mbuma Mission Hospital. This article sets out what work is being undertaken.

The hospital has been too small for its considerable patient numbers for some years now. It is regularly so full up that patients have to be doubled up: one person on the bed and the other patient (sometimes with baby) on a mattress under the bed. This is now standard practice on the women’s ward and in the maternity department in particular, and it is obviously far from ideal. To improve the hospital and the quality of care, it has been desired for some time now to extend and renovate the hospital. In addition, the pharmacy needs to be extended for proper storage of materials and medicines.

Plan The plan is to extend the hospital in three departments:

1. Extension to the store and pharmacy (orange box): the store is far too small and the medicines have to be kept in various spaces around the hospital premises. A newly built pharmacy will allow central storage of all medicines.

2. Construction of a new maternity department (red box): a new wing will be built, housing the maternity patients. The building will contain delivery rooms, ante-natal and post-natal wards, sanitary facilities and a consultation room.

3. Renovation of the women’s ward (green box): what is currently the delivery and women’s ward is being extended, allowing this space to be used for women’s care, as this is the department with the most patients. Two one-woman rooms will also be built, allowing for isolation of patients or a greater degree of privacy.

Progress The contractor has already commenced works. The ground has been prepared for building and the foundations were expected to be complete during December (the time of writing of this article). As the soil is clay-heavy and many buildings in the locality are subject to subsidence, great attention has been paid to proper foundations, so that the buildings can remain in the service of the Mission for many years to come, if the Lord will.

The works are planned to be complete by summer 2024. It has been wonderful to see local people’s involvement in the construction and how they eagerly watched the digger and lorries arrive with the first building supplies. A highly competent constructor from Bulawayo is carrying out the project but, where possible, locals are engaged.

Stay up to date As you will appreciate, this is not a cheap project. It has been budgeted at 300,000 euros. If you would like to contribute financially, you can send money to the Stichting Mbuma Zending bank account with the explanatory note “Hospital extension”. Many thanks indeed for your gift!

We will be keeping you up to date on the progress of construction with updated photos at www.mbuma.nl. We hope and pray that all these efforts will promote the medical and spiritual work of the Mission here at Mbuma.

Sjoerd Janse