Originally a mission hospital, which developed from a clinic service, Mseleni Hospital is a government hospital situated in a remote part of northern KwaZulu Natal. It is 60km from the border with Mozambique and provides Primary Health Care for 90,000 rural people.
It is a 184-bed hospital, which is split into 6 wards (labour, female surgical, paediatrics, male, female medical and isolation wards). There is also a brand new therapy department, a radiography department with x-ray and ultrasound machines, a pharmacy and a laboratory, as well as a dentist and social workers. The hospital runs 10 clinics in a catchment area of 100 x 30km.
The Outpatients department (OPD) serves as a doctor’s waiting room during the day and also a 24-hour emergency department. Most of the time there are between 8 and 15 doctors employed by the hospital. This number includes community service doctors.
Patients come from all parts of the district. Some present directly to the hospital, some are referred from local GPs and some from the residential clinics organized by the hospital around the region. Whilst most patients are treated in Mseleni, some cases require more specialist attention and are referred to any of a number of other larger hospitals, being transported by road or air.
Despite no longer being a mission hospital, it is still run in the same way. There is a strong Christian ethos–many of the staff are Bible believing Christians, and ward prayers are held every weekday where a local preacher brings the word of God.
Mseleni Hospital is part of the local community. The hospital site is shared with Mseleni Children’s Home, which also runs an AIDS orphan care project called Lulisandla Kumntwana. Vuka Mabaso is a community development project which runs a computer centre, a library and a hall which is used for anything from weddings to school graduation ceremonies.