An important aspect of the work of the hospital has always been in outreach to the local community. Staff from the hospital regularly visit villages in the surrounding areas to provide clinical care, including immunisations, antenatal and postnatal care and continuing rehabilitation of people with physical challenges. It’s simply not practical for people in these poor rural villages to travel the long distances to the hospital for this.
Health education covers topics such as hygiene, including better sanitation arrangements, and nutrition. The incidence of HIV/AIDS has reduced dramatically since the hospital began, but at 7% it still remains high, so it is vital to explain the nature of the condition and its methods of spread, and measures to avoid infection. People are made aware of the presenting symptoms and the need for testing to make a definite diagnosis and commence treatment. Expectant mothers are told of the danger of transmission of the virus to their babies and about preventative measures to prevent this happening during the birth process. Community workers often use drama and songs to convey the message in a way that can more easily be remembered.