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Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has built new permanent facilities in Gwange Paediatric Hospital in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, northeast Nigeria.
The MSF Gwange Paediatric Hospital was launched to respond to the lack of paediatric services in the town. Gwange area is one of the most populated areas of Maiduguri, hosting the highest number of internally displaced people (IDP) with an extremely low presence of humanitarian actors.
“Gwange Paediatric Hospital’s location is in one of the poorest and most underprivileged neighbourhoods in Maiduguri,” says Daniel Teajedor, MSF construction manager and engineer. “The hope is that the improved facilities will further support the communities in the area.”
MSF’s Gwange Paediatric Hospital provides care for children aged between one month to 15 years old and is the only free of charge paediatric health centre available within Maiduguri, with a capacity of 80 beds during off-peak malaria seasons. If required, the hospital’s capacity can be extended to 200 beds using tents during peak malaria seasons or in response to a measles outbreak.
“The new hospital offers better infrastructure, more comfort, and can be converted to a structure three times in capacity during peak malaria season,” says Teajedor.
MSF teams were forced to complete the new hospital in two phases within 12 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first phase concluded the construction of an emergency room with a common triage area, inpatient department (IPD), intensive care unit (ICU), orange and yellow wards, and a pharmacy.
The second phase included other facilities to accommodate orange and yellow patients plus support structures: a new milk room, a sterilization unit, medical office and a laboratory. A new dispensary, a tetanus room and two additional latrines were also included in the second phase.
The new building is located within the compound of a Ministry of Health (MoH) healthcare centre. Despite the land-sharing agreement, the IPD is entirely run by MSF, while the outpatient department (OPD) is managed by the MoH.
In 2020, MSF treated 22,648 children in need of emergency care at the Gwange Paediatric Hospital, including 11,106 who were admitted to the IPD. Overall, 10,356 children were treated for malaria and 268 for measles. Between January and June 2021, our teams at Gwange Paediatric Hospital have treated 10,717 patients including 6,090 who were admitted to the IPD.