Centro de Saude de Sihane, Portuguese for "Health Centre in Sihane", is located in a rural area called Sihane in the district of Inharrime, Mozambique. Sihane is not routinely marked on maps so the clinic is commonly referred to as the "Zavora clinic" as Zavora, being only a few kilometres away, is easily identified on maps.
Medical work began in 2003 out of tents with medical staff also living in tents. Work stopped from 2005 to 2007 while the length registration process was undertaken. The clinic became officially registered at the end of 2007. In 2008 the buildings were constructed. The official opening took place in 2009.
There are approximately 10 dedicated full-time staff some of whom work as volunteers. The CEO, Dr Albertus van Eeden, is based in South Africa, and director, Mr Mario Rocha, is based in Mozambique.
The clinic provides general medical care including 24/7 emergency care as well as a 3 bed maternity unit. Approximately 150 to 200 deliveries occur annually. Women are provided with antenatal, intrapartum and post-natal care. DFL has a vision to build an operating theatre for caesarean sections. Currently, women who develop complications whilst in labour are transferred by DFL vehicles to the local referral hospital and then further transferred to a higher level hospital with surgical facilities. An urgent caesarean often takes 12-24 hours which at times means the baby does not survive.
The clinic conducts approximately 21,000 patient consultations per year with all patients receiving medical treatment free of charge. Malaria is one of the most common conditions diagnosed and treated. If left untreated, malaria is a life-threatening disease. Plasmodium falciparum, which is common in the area, is the most aggressive type of malaria and in advanced stages causes complications involving the brain. During the "malaria season" the clinic diagnoses and treats 30 to 40 patients a day with malaria with a significant proportion being children below the age of 14 years. The disease progresses rapidly in small children and devastatingly still claims lives. Malaria accounts for a significant proportion of medical emergencies presenting to the clinic.
The clinic is funded by donations. We would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to those who give, be it in the form of medications, equipment, clothing, monetary donations or other means. The haematology analyser has had a significant impact on the care of many. Thank you to those who provided such a valuable piece of equipment. We received funds and were recently able to purchase an x-ray machine. We anticipate that this will have a significant impact on the local community. Currently, patients who require an x-ray are referred to the local hospital and from there travel a long distance to a larger hospital with x-ray facilities. The process takes several days and many patients struggle to afford the cost of travel. DFL often assists with these expenses so patients can receive the care they need.
It is truly rewarding to serve such a needy population. Without your generosity and support it would not be possible. We sincerely thank you.