The outpatient department, just inside the hospital gates, acts as a mixture of GP surgery, A&E and hospital outpatients, with minor problems, life-threatening emergencies and everything in between.

There is always a colourful queue of people waiting to be seen, and last year the department saw 14,500 patients (approximately 10,000 new patients and 4,000 for review). It is mainly run by a team of excellent Clinical Officers, with support from the junior doctors and the consultants when needed.

People with long term conditions as well as patients who have been recently discharged are reviewed in regular clinics, including Diabetes, Hypertension, Epilepsy, Mental health and Gynaecology. The Palliative Care team is based in OPD, as well as the Dental and Ophthalmology departments. This is also where the HIV team follow up patients on a regular basis, as are patients with TB and Leprosy  with contact tracing arranged and medication provided. The HIV and TB/leprosy care is funded internationally, and therefore free for the patients.

The pharmacy dispenses medication to outpatients and to those being discharged from hospital, and the accounts office receives patients’ fees.

Really sick patients also arrive here – sometimes by ambulance, but more often on a motorbike supported by several others all together on the same seat. They are assessed and given initial treatment before being transferred to the ward.

Arriving with baby and family to OPD
Leprosy patients for review