The Hospital on Bushenyi Hill

George C Halvorson

Winter 2007 - Volume 11 Number 1

On the top of a Buhweju District mountain, 35 kilometers from the nearest electricity, 45 kilometers from what used to be the nearest care, and several thousand feet over the moist and fertile local flat land, members of a two-year-old tea-leaf-based health care cooperative have actually built a tiny hospital and clinic. I visited the site just before I left HealthPartners. The local tea farmers had hand-carried both sand and water up the mountainside to build the hospital. They baked thousands of red bricks and then used those bricks to assemble a five-room building with a tin roof. That building now contains two maternity beds, five acute care beds, a tiny delivery room, one wire bassinet, and a table and chair in an exam room that also serves as a laboratory for doing malaria tests. The new care site has no electricity and no running water. The only lighting comes in through open windows. Flashlights are used after dark. The beds have clean, flat surfaces, but no mattresses or blankets.

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