St. Theresa’s Mission Hospital is one of the first referral hospitals in Mpongwe and Masaiti Districts. It is owned by the trustees of the Catholic Diocese of Ndola. The hospital is situated in Ibenga, Mpongwe District about 25 kilometers south of Luanshya town. As a first referral hospital, it has a big population and catchment area as it has to attend to referrals from the several Health centers. The hospital also refers to second and third level hospital to manage complicated cases. The population around Ibenga is 13,151 with catchment radius of 12 kilometers, however the total number of patients that the hospital caters for is much larger. The Masaiti district does not have its own hospital currently therefore there is a large number of patient from that district as well as Ibenga is the nearest hospital.
With the presence of an all-weather road in the district that passes through Ibenga, where the hospital is situated and with its proximity to nearby Copperbelt towns, the hospital has observed an increase in the number of patients coming from these towns. The internet and cell phone facilities serve the hospital for communication.
The hospital was initiated in 1960 by Italian Missionaries as a small clinic for TB and leprosy patients. Doctors from nearby towns visited the Centre weekly. The clinic gradually expanded its capacity and scope of activities and it serves as a District Hospital, 1st level hospital. Since 1985 MEMISA, now called CORDAID a Dutch Non-Government Organization (NGO) provided doctors. This cooperation ended in 2004. In the recent past we have had a number of Zambian Doctors serving at our Hospital.
St. Theresa’s Mission Hospital is not the only health facility in the district, there is another mission hospital, managed by the Baptist Church 40 km away. Furthermore there is a score of Mission and Government Rural Health Centers scattered around the area.
The Hospital provides the following services; Laboratory, physiotherapy, radiology including ultra sound scanning, dental, ART, VCT, PMTCT, HBC, Eye services which includes Cataracts surgery, Pharmacy, Theatre, TB clinic, Maternity/ Gynecology and Gyn clinic.
All staff members are paid directly by the ministry of mother and child health and community development. The medication is provided by MSL (Medical Stores Lusaka) which is under the Ministry of Health.
All services are free of charge. Therefore the hospital has hardly any income which makes it difficult to cater for daily running costs, transport, food for patients. We are completely dependent on donations when it comes to equipment. For maintenance there is hardly any funding at all.