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About Chitambo

Chitambo Hospital was founded in1908, by Scottish missionaries, in memory of David Livingstone who died in Chief Chitambo’s area in 1873.When prospecting for a site to build the hospital in a less malarial area, Chitambo Hospital was built 100 miles south.  The hospital was staffed, for many years, by a succession of Scottish nurses and doctors as well as many Dutch doctors.  It is now a Zambian government hospital managed by an 57 all-African (mainly Zambian) staff.  Chitambo currently treats around 20,000 patients a year.  Common diseases include malaria, pneumonia. HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, peri-natal conditions, road traffic and other accidents etc.  The hospital is served by 7 RHC and 19 related health posts.  Some of these are 100 miles from the hospital on barely accessible roads.

Chitambo Hospital is situated in Central Province, in the Serenje District.It is around 60 miles north of the town of Serenje, where the Serenje District Health Management Team (SDHMT) is based; 200 miles north-east of Kabwe, where the Provincial Health Offices are based; and over 300 miles from Lusaka, the capital. The hospital, and its associated Rural Health Clinics (RHC), serves a scattered population of over 100,000, in remote rural villages.  The hospital borders on Northern Province and is 100 miles south of Our Lady’s Hospital, Chilonga.

The climate in the area is moderate, influenced by the high attitude of the Zambian plateau (1600 meters above sea level).The area is forested, with high rainfall and many permanent rivers and streams. The Lala people constitutes the main population and chi-Lala and chi-Bemba are the main, local languages.  Subsistence farming is the basis of the local economy and crops grown include maize, sorghum, cassava, beans, millet, sweet potatoes etc. Chitemene (slash and burn) agricultural practices are still favoured in the area.  For those living near LakeLusiwasi, farming is supplemented by fishing.  However, many villages are isolated and there is a high incidence of poverty, including many orphaned children.


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