Ping (zestyping) wrote,


We spent our third day in Zambia touring health facilities in the Mumbwa district. On the way there, we passed little settlements along the highway.

Unlike in Kenya, the extremely poor here built their structures out of plain sticks, or bricks (in the background). I didn't see much corrugated metal for walls. Perhaps bricks are easier to get here for some reason.

The square dirt huts were still common, though.

This is the administration building of the main district hospital for Mumbwa.

Here's the sign for the hospital, in front of the stores building.

Inside the stores, the stock levels of supplies were tracked by hand using the green bin cards you see here.

There was a large supply of antimalarial drugs in this particular store — but it was all about to expire in the next two months. (After manufacturing, the drugs last two years.) Most of it would go to waste, since it can't be returned to the central stores within six months of expiry.

These were in the parking lot outside. I'm told the hospital does have another working ambulance, though.

We also visited some rural health clinics, which were much smaller. In one of them, all the supplies were kept in the head nurse's office. In all of them, the supply of antimalarial drugs was incomplete — they were out of stock in at least one of the four doses, which meant that they would have to break pills in half or combine pills to produce the correct dose. Despite having incomplete stock, the stock in the other sizes was also within a month or two of expiry.

In this particular district, these situations were probably not life-threatening concerns, because the malaria burden was quite low here. But it was still worrisome how much medicine would be wasted, and how poorly the stocks were maintained.

I didn't get any photos in the rural clinics because my camera's battery ran out.
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