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Fit-for-future healthcare in Africa

by Ofentse Sefolo
Fit-for-future healthcare in Africa

Access is still the greatest challenge to health care delivery in Africa. Fewer than 50% of Africans have access to modern health facilities and many African countries spend less than 10% of their GDP on health care. As a land-locked country with a young population, Zambia’s need to increase and improve its medical services has amplified with the rise in non-communicable diseases, lifestyle changes and rapid urbanisation.

The country’s latest and most modern facility to date is the Medland Hospital, which opened its doors in Lusaka in June 2019 and provides highly specialised medical services to Zambians and citizens within the region.

Medland is the first private facility in the country to introduce a full-time operational cardiovascular surgery department in addition to advanced surgical oncology and orthopaedic services. Other medical, surgical and anti-aging specialties, using cutting-edge technology, are also available.

World-class healthcare

“The International Standards and National guidelines are key drivers in our daily operations,” states Dr Mohamed El Sahili, CEO of Medland Health Services. “However, what differentiates our facility is that we deliver affordable, accessible and high-quality healthcare to everyone in Zambia and the region.”

The COVID-19 pandemic affected every facet of the economy. Although Medland had only been open eight months, the hospital responded swiftly, setting up a COVID-19 response committee well before the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a pandemic. They immediately moved into putting together an anticipated list of challenges, looking closely at the areas of supply chain, human resources and other details which would affect the overall day-to-day running of the hospital. With the guidance of public authorities, Medland became one of the first accredited hospitals in Zambia to conduct PCR screening tests through its existing PCR laboratory.

Strengthening community bonds

With the advent of international travel bans, Medland Hospital quickly became the facility of choice for services that patients used to seek abroad, fulfilling one of their chief objectives. The hospital benefitted from the increased contact with locals, cultivating a solid bond built on trust and accountability with patients and the community. To strengthen this communal bond, in May 2021 Medland sent its Q-Medland Units into the community to decentralise access to COVID-19-related services. “In two years, these units may be serving our communities, specifically those in rural areas, by addressing health issues and assisting in raising awareness among the general population,” points out Dr El Sahili.

Dr El Sahili believes strongly in partnerships and teamwork to provide the highest patient-centred care. The School of Mental Health at Johns Hopkins University has implemented a programme at Medland to support people with mental health issues, while relationships have been developed with oncology research institutions to provide updated protocols when it comes to chemotherapy. Medland Hospital is also a member at the International Hospital Federation and one of the first 100 signatories to Ethical Principles in Healthcare (EPIHC) worldwide. Dr El Sahili sits on the board of the Africa Healthcare Federation and the Corporate Council on Africa, lending further credibility to Medland’s prestige.

Global Collaboration

Medland Hospital reached its two-year anniversary on 29 June 2021 and is proud to have raised the bar for healthcare services in the country and region, especially during this unprecedented and tumultuous period. Never settling for ordinary, the hospital has just launched its education programme, improving its capacity building and allowing a more technical transfer of skills across its team. “After two years, we have stayed true to our mission and vision,” states Dr El Sahili. “Today, through our partnerships with the Ministry of Health and multiple local and foreign insurers, Medland Hospital is giving everyone affordable access to quality medical services.”

As the world slowly charts its exit from the COVID-19 pandemic, attention has turned towards enhanced global collaboration to ensure health systems emerge from it stronger, more prepared and more people-centred.

New benchmark

Through its visionary leadership, the Lusaka-based facility has demonstrated it is well-suited to answer to the many healthcare needs of the Zambian people, and those in neighbouring countries. “We have learned that a clear, futuristic and innovative vision must always be place for the organisation to succeed,” states Dr El Sahili. “At Medland Hospital, we know how to listen and fulfil our patients’ needs and expectations.”

Within its two short years, Medland Hospital has utilised its partnerships and innovative services to become a benchmark for patient-centred healthcare on the continent.

Our sincere thanks and appreciation to Penresa for the information contained in this article.

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