Modern diagnostic tools are a necessity in today's healthcare. Advances in imaging technologies have transformed medicine and improved health around the world. Without these tools, accurate diagnoses and treatments of diseases and injuries are severely impaired. A new Medical Imaging Suite at the rural Mwandi hospital in western Zambia will provide safe spaces for a variety of current imaging tools allowing physicians to make more reliable diagnoses and provide better care for their patients.
Since 2012, Mwandi hospital has not had a functioning x-ray machine. The old, inoperable machine wasn't replaced because its room shielding was inadequate, jeopardizing staff and patient safety. Currently, accurate diagnoses of illnesses, such as pneumonia, are hard to make and may lead to dangerous under or over treatment. The lack of imaging also means 60% of orthopedic cases must be referred to other hospitals. Often these patients can't afford transport costs and become permanently disabled.
The Medical Imaging Suite will allow physicians to accurately diagnose patients at the Mwandi hospital and to perform timely interventions to address patients' illnesses or injuries. A new x-ray machine, donated by the Zambian government, will be housed in a lead-lined room in the facility. Previously donated lead is now on-site and will significantly reduce the building's cost. Additional Suite rooms will have ultrasound and other imaging technologies further enhancing diagnostic capabilities.
The imaging suite will transform the practice of medicine in Mwandi. More individuals will seek care at the hospital and more healthcare personnel will choose to work in the facility because they will have tools to successfully care for patients. A quality imaging suite will help the hospital achieve Level 2 facility status and receive more resources to care for patients. The hospital will continue to track its standard patient and staff data, plus the imaging suite's usage and patient outcomes.
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