Home / News and Blog / Country Programme Work / Resilience in Kasama: Nurturing Hope in the Maternity Ward
Back to blog

Resilience in Kasama: Nurturing Hope in the Maternity Ward

25 April 2024


Dr. David Kelly, Locum Obstetrics & Gynecology Registrar at Holt Doctors shares his experiences dedicating his time and expertise with THET in Kasama to improve access to health

In the heart of Zambia’s northern province lies the bustling town of Kasama, home to over 100,000 resilient souls striving for a better tomorrow. 

From August 2022 to December 2022, supported by the Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET), as an NHS Doctor based in the UK, I had the privilege of serving in the maternity department of Kasama General Hospital, witnessing the miracle of life unfold day in and day out. The unit welcomes about 3,600 newborns annually, many of whom arrive after being referred from neighbouring health facilities. Despite the challenges faced, the dedicated team of professionals at the unit possess an unwavering commitment to excellence. 

In Zambia, the maternal mortality rate stands at a staggering 12 times higher than in Britain, with stillbirths and neonatal deaths hauntingly common occurrences. Yet, amidst these stark realities, a spirit of resilience and hope permeates the hospital corridors. 

Resource constraints often tested our resolve, with elective surgeries sometimes postponed due to shortages of essential supplies like sutures and surgical gowns. The limitations in labour monitoring contributed to a higher incidence of caesarean deliveries. Even basic blood tests may require women to seek assistance from private laboratories when our hospital machines falter, and essential medications can be frustratingly out of stock. 


Nevertheless, our team refused to be deterred, often pooling together resources to ensure that every patient receives the care they deserve, regardless of their financial means. 

Despite the hardships, the women who entrusted us with their delivery journeys were immensely grateful for the care they received. It was humbling to witness their resilience and appreciation amidst challenging circumstances. I often find myself pondering how different their experiences might be if they didn’t have to travel long distances to access care, endure crowded hospital wards, and navigate through a maze of uncertainties during their most vulnerable moments. 

Yet, through it all, they found solace in the compassionate care provided by our dedicated team. Their strength fueled our determination to overcome every obstacle, ensuring that every birth is met with the dignity and respect it deserves. 

In the face of adversity, Kasama General Hospital stands as a beacon of hope, a testament to the indomitable spirit of the human heart.  

This post was written by:

External Engagement Team - THET


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.