St Alberts Mission Hospital in northern Zimbabwe serves an impoverished rural population of 120,000 people scattered across 3000 sq km. Subsistence farming is the main activity in the region. The hospital operates on very limited funds. Two women doctors, one male doctor, and a dedicated nursing staff run the 140-bed hospital and all the ancillary programs. See stalbertsmissionhospital.org
When I visited the hospital in November 2013 Dr Julia Musariri remarked that the hospital faced a chronic shortage of supply of sutures. About 2,600 babies are delivered here every year, and obstructed labour and consequent vaginal fistulas are a serious problem, and the demand for appropriate surgical supplies is constant.
When I visited again in Nov 2014 Dr Julia said the situation hadn’t changed. So on my return to Sydney we researched a way of purchasing a year’s supply of sutures that could be delivered to Zimbabwe without incurring import duties. The consignment was delivered in 2015.
On a visit in 2015 we observed a severe shortage of all medications at the hospital. We made a donation of $10,000 to fund a consignment of medications sourced in India that was finally delivered in 2016.