Meeting Urgent Needs

Helping St. Albert’s Mission Hospital meet urgent needs is one of BHA’s four areas of focus, along with Cancer Prevention and Education, Water System Improvements and Improving Women’s Health.

Urgent needs at St. Albert’s are mainly due to Zimbabwe’s dire economic circumstances, which leads to nationwide shortages of drugs, medical supplies and equipment. As a result, the hospital can run short of basic items such as antibiotics and other drugs, suture, syringes, sterile and nonsterile gloves, bandages and the reagents required by diagnostic equipment.

The nation’s poor economy also affects the people served by the hospital – largely communities of subsistence farmers who have little or no income and no health insurance – to pay for medical services.

The economy also leaves the government unable to provide normal funding for the basic hospital operational costs, such as payment of the electric bill, which the power company nonetheless demands.

In a supply crisis, St. Albert’s will contact other mission hospitals to learn if they can share their supply of a needed item – boxes of syringes, for example. At the same time, the hospital will look to outside NGOs for the drugs or needed items to get through the crisis. The NGO will charge for the items. It will be less than market value, but the hospital still requires cash for the purchase. BHA will help meet the need, if the cash is available.

BHA also helps the hospital purchase essential food items — a sack of maize meal, a sack of rice; a small bag of beans; a jar of peanut butter; a box of dried, ground small fish; and 2 liters of cooking oil — that are assembled as “food hampers” by St. Albert’s staff and given to relieve hunger and malnutrition among the most vulnerable.

Currently, BHA is helping St. Albert’s Medical Superintendent Dr. Julia Musariri embark on an innovative income-earning poultry project. The plan is for the hospital to sell eggs to local residents and businesses in order to meet the costs of essentials such as electricity, fuel for trucks to reach outlying clinics, and food for patients. BHA directors recently provided funding for construction of a shelter and feed for 1,000 laying hens, and have opened a GoFundMe page to raise the $5,000 needed to complete the project.

See these Accomplishments pages for other examples of how BHA has helped St. Albert’s meet critical needs.