Kalene Mission Hospital


Current Projects

Construction of a new septic tank

Information on this project can be found here.

Hospital Rewiring Project

A major rewiring of the hospital was commenced in 2008. Inital work, including the distribution board and placing the backbone of the new wiring into the hospital was performed by Trevor Adamson. More rencently Paul Hannay has continued the work. This has included a) setting up the distribution box so that the hospital stand-by generator can turn on within five seconds of a power outage b)placing three phase wiring down to the workshiop c)extension of the hospital wiring through the new theatre block and into the HIV block.

In 2013 the hosptial rewiring will be completed. This will include setting up the new wiring in the mens ward nursing station, pharmacy, paediatric ward and in the outpatient department.

Hospital restructuring projects

Current hospital restructuring projects include redesigning of the old theatre and of the hospital laboratory.

Staff Housing

Shortage of accomodation has been a major factor holding back the development of the hospital. We are grateful for funding that has been sent to help with the construction of houses.

Proposed Projects

Building a Staff Hostel

Plans for this project may be viewed here.

Design and building of a new maternity unit

The current maternity unit includes a ward built out of sun dried bricks in the 1940's. This ward is rapaidly coming to the end of its' 'viable life'. This will provide an opportunity to completely redesign and improve the layout of the maternity unit.

Recent Projects

Completion of the new Operation Theatre Block

Front of the New Theatre Block
Front of the New Theatre Block (Click for larger image)

The new theatre block was formally opened on 29 August 2012. This was a major building project, which took approximately 24 months to complete. Over 35 local workers were employed during the time-course of the project. The facility includes three operating theatres, sterilising rooms, three storerooms, staff changing areas, a tearoom, a 7-bed high dependency unit, two offices and staff toilets and a hospital chapel(which will double up as an education room with an attached kitchen facility.

The initial donation from Beit Trust of UK £50,000 provided the impetus and financial backing needed to start the project. However as is often the case in a large project, the final cost is often greater than that estimated in the initial budget. In this context we would like to acknowledge the many other groups and people whose donations have made this project possible. These included generous donations from Medical Missionary News, Echoes of Service, CMML USA and donations from many other church groups and individuals worldwide.

Roof Assembly on the Theatre
Roof Assembly on the New Theatre Block (Click for larger image)

This project required a higher standard of building than in previous Kalene building projects, such as extra sealing above and below the ceilings to reduce dust. The high quality finish was made possible by UK missionary Paul Hannay. Without his commitment and expertise over the last three years: including in the planning, ordering of equipment and the leadership of the work, this project would not have been possible. The local building staff also worked to a consistently high standard, and we are also appreciative of those who came to supervise the work at critical times, such as Gordon McKillop, (welding and trusses) and Brass Tacks workers from the UK.

Fitting the new Cupboards
Fitting the new Cupboards (Click for larger image)

The new theatre block will benefit the hospital in a number of ways. Some of these are listed below. The hospital can now perform a major operation and a caesarean section at the same time. It has provided an environment where sterile procedures can be safely performed. It has provided an area where electronic medical equipment can be safely stored. The facility also includes a high dependency ward where sick patients can be closely monitored – although the hospital needs extra nursing staff (which means extra accommodation) before the high dependency unit can be staffed. It is our prayer that this new theatre block will help the hospital to both attract and retain well trained medical and nursing staff who will be able to use the facility to its full potential, and that this will in turn help with the future development of the hospital

A more detailed article on the building of the new theatre block can be seen here(PDF 1.4 MB)
A powerpoint presention of the new theatre block being built can be seen here(PDF 25 MB)

Completion of the Hospital Mortuary

The hosptial is grateful to the government for the funding and building of the new mortuary. The building of the mortuary was supervised locally by Mr Kasongu Muke. An article on this project can be seen here

Report on the Clinical Training of Doctors

Dr. Phil with the Anaesthetics Machine
Dr. Phil with the Anaesthetics Machine (Click for larger image)

There are many mission hospitals and health clinics in this part of Africa (see the overview of CMML medical work in Africa) that are in the midst of a staffing crisis. There are two main reasons for this.

Problems recruiting African staff: In Zambia many of the medical graduates and registered nurses who have qualified in the last twenty years have left the country. The combination of the shortage of qualified staff in the country and the rural location of many mission hospitals has made recruitment difficult.

Problems recruiting expatriate staff: This is due to the changes in medical training. Whereas 25 years ago medical training equipped doctors with the broad practical skills, (eg: general medicine, obstetrics, and some basic anaesthetic and surgical skills), necessary to work in an African hospital. Now medical training is more theoretical, and practical skills are usually gained in an area of specialist training.

Because of this it was felt there was a need for a training hospital in central Africa, to enable doctors and nurses, (from either African or Western countries) to receive the practical training required to equip them for work in a rural African hospital. Echoes of Service recommended Kalene for redevelopment as a training hospital. Dr Woodfield supervised the program. Practical training was based on an apprenticeship model. Staff that came for training had the opportunity to learn a range of clinical skills in a supportive environment and with appropriate supervision. Between 2009 and 2012 eight doctors were trained. Dr. George Kishimba from the DRC is now working at Mulongo Mission Hospital. Dr Fred Kapaya form Zambia has become the district director of health and is planning to do further surgical training in Lusaka. Six doctors from overseas (Dr Justin Beardsley, Drs Paul and Katy Barker, Dr Chris Houlden, Drs Phil and Tess Bonnett) took one year out of training programs to explore the possibility of returning at a later date to an African Mission hospital. All these doctors made a major contribution to the hospital during their time here. Training them was a priviledge, and was a highlight of the supervising doctors time at Kalene. It is our prayer that they will have opportunities to return to help and/or to work in mission hospitals in Africa as their careers progress.

Previous Hospital Renovation Projects


CHAZ (Churches Health Association of Zambia) had provided some funds for renovation projects related to the HIV program. As the number of HIV patients in the program continued to grow it was realised that there would be a need for more space to help effectively run the program. The CHAZ block included an extra consultation room, a storage and drug dispensary room, staff and patient toilets and an attached toilet area for pregnant women who have come to wait at the hospital to delivery. A team from Byndwr Assembly, Christchurch, New Zealand came in December 2010 and were able to complete the walls and roofing in three weeks! Further internal work was completed by local workers and mission staff.

Some pictures of the HIV block, and the team that helped with the construction of the block, can be seen here (PDF MB)

New Housing block and Nursing School Hostel

Between 2006 and 2009 the new housing area below the soccer field was completed in three phases. This involved two mission houses and six nursing school houses. In the first phase two tutor houses were built using government funds. In the second phase two mission houses were built with assistance from Beit Trust funds. In the third phase four nursing school houses were built using government funds.
The major renovation project in 2009 was building of the second nursing school hostel. This project has been made possible by funding from the Zambian government
These projects were all completed using local labour and were supervised locally by Mr Kasongu Muke

A new Workshop for Kalene

The Workshop in Use
The Workshop in Use (Click for larger image)

In a wonderful way the workshop, a steel building, measuring 25 m x 18 m, was given to Brass Tacks by Ikea, and then sent out to the hospital with the help of Medical Missionary News (link). Dr Viv Davies describes the arrival of the workshop. "It was a wonderful and quite emotional occasion. The Lord graciously gave us 2 days of baking sunshine to dry off the rain damaged roads. When the 2 juggernauts arrived at around 5pm, I felt a big lump in my throat! Then the fun began, with an army of local men unloading the first container. The pantomime of attaching them to a strong tree and driving off is always entertaining.I felt that this years Brass Tacks party had begun with a very large firework indeed." More recently work at the workshop has included three phase wiring, building an area for vehicle maintenance and welding a lift for removing containers from the back of the mission's Volvo truck.

See Workshop Story (3.8PDF) for the story in pictures of how Kalene got a new workshop

Initial Renovation including building new ward toilets and a hospital incinerator

Outside of New Toilet Block
Outside of New Toilet Block, 2007 (Click for larger image)

After a period of signficant 'wear and tear' around the hospital (most of which was built in the 1950s), the first major renovations in a number of years were undertaken with the help of Brass Tacks in June 2006. Phase one included the replacement of the toilet blocks, extensions to the plumbing and drainage system, roof repair and painting. See Kalene: A Brass Tacks perspective (link to articles). The second phase, in 2007, included a new toilet block for the delivery ward, completion of work in the children's ward, and a new hospital incinerator. In 2008 the rewiring of the hospital commenced, and will be completed in 2013.

Pictures (1.2MB PDF) of the early renovation progress.

Medical Missionary News have been a major support and partner of the hospital over many years, and have been involved in most of the above projects. They have helped with funding, planning, with the purchasing of building material and equipment and with the transportation of containers to Kalene. During this time they have also been a great help with the purchasing and supply of medicines and medical equipment.

Parallel Projects

Electrical Power Generation and Distribution

In 1964 the potential for power generation was identified at the point where the Zambezi rapids start, just a few kilometres away from Kalene Hospital. Following the establishment of a Trust Board, and a significant fund raising project, work on the hydroelectric scheme began in March 2004. This has been a community project, using local labour and materials as much as is possible. The objective has been to promote the development of the surrounding area. When the hydroelectric project is running at full capacity, 750kVA of electricity will be generated. Since June 2007 the hospital has had reliable 24 hour electricity. Lines have now been distributed to Nyakaseya, Ikelenge, Sakeji School and to Hillwood farm. Further work in the area of community development, such as supplying computers to Ikelenge High School and exploring the viability of dried fruit processing can be followed on the NWZDT website.

Resources: North West Zambian Development Trust
Pictures of the hydroelectric station being built (3.6MB, PDF).
Some photos were included in this blog.