Njala University Hospital

The Njala University Hospital is structurally located at the main campus of Njala, but it is part of the University Medical Services which covers both the university Health Centers at the Bo (2) and the clinic in Freetown (1). Each of the Health Centers at Bo (2) is headed by a Community Health Officer (CHO) and the Clinic in Freetown is headed by the Nursing Superintendent (SRN). The Director of the University Medical Services supervises the activities at these health centers as well as the hospital at Njala. The hospital at the Njala campus is professionally run by the Medical Officer.

The Hospital is solely administered and financed by the Njala University. The University provides drugs, equipments, hospital materials etc. , pays staff of each of the campuses health facilities. It is responsible for the overall administration of the health facilities through a Campus Health Committee which supervises a management team headed by the Senior Medical Officer as the Head of Department and the Medical Officer who reports to a Standing Committee of the campus. This committee reports to a University Medical Board which is the body overseeing the activities of the medical services of the university.

The hospital provides health care services not only to about 10,000 students, staff and their relatives, but extends those services to the immediate communities adjacent to it. As a rural based hospital it caters for the healthcare needs of over 300,000 rural inhabitants covering the four adjacent chiefdoms of Kori, Dasse, Kamajei and Kowa lying within an average radius of 40 miles. Established in 1964, the hospital started as a Health Center with only out-patient care. It gradually developed into a capacity of a 50-bed in-patient facility (sometimes 60 if need be) with 2 medical doctors as well as qualified nurses (23) and paramedical staff (3), laboratory staff (2), junior support staff(5) and administrative staff (2).

The hospital attends to about 200,000 outpatients per year and admits an average of about 5,000 patients per year. Before the hospital was vandalized and destroyed by the rebels in 1995, it used to provide services in surgery, maternal and child healthcare including services in maternity care, pre and postnatal care as well as under-five clinical services. Moreover, the hospital had an infectious diseases unit, a clinical laboratory and a pharmaceutical unit. For almost 15 years, the university and of course the hospital were relocated in Freetown (because of the war) where it continued to render limited clinical services to the students and staff population of the university. However, after the end of the civil war in 2002, some parts of the hospital was rehabilitated and in 2009, the university and the hospital gradually returned to the original structures at Njala.

Currently, the hospital plays host to a number of health programmes among which are: - The Peanut Butter Project for undernourished children which runs a clinic fort nightly - The Epilepsy Clinic run by the Sisters of Clunny once every three months - A mobile Eye clinic which visits the hospital every month or on request - The National Onchocerciasis Programme which distributes Mectizan and Albendazol drugs to the community - The National Immunisation programmes in which our staff participate on a regular basis - A community HIV/AIDS sensitisation and VCCT programme as well as PCMT for pregnant women. Recently we have reintroduced the community-outreach programme in which the hospital staff run a clinic in the community on specific days of the week for patients who for various reasons cannot access the health facility on time.

In addition, the hospital serves as a teaching and practical outlet for the Nurses and CHOs –in- training at the School of Community Health Sciences at the Bo campus.