History of BAH
Blantyre Adventist Hospital (BAH) started with two outpatient clinics -- for dental services and for medical services in 1956. Eunice Kanjira, one of the first nurses who joined BAH by commuting with doctors from Malamulo Hospital in the late 1960s, recalls Dr. Robin Heimer, a visiting surgeon from South Africa, doing surgeries as early as 1962 at the town clinic in Blantyre. Kanjira also recalls that two Malawian specialists were performing surgeries at the BAH. The specialists were Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba, a surgeon, and Africa’s only neurologist then, the late Dr. George Nga Mtafu.
In April 1974, Dr. Elton Stecker and his wife, Dr. Rheeta Stecker opened Blantyre Adventist Hospital in the position where it is now for a limited number of inpatients. The facility had three rooms and occupancy averaged one patient per a week. As the hospital grew, admissions included medical, surgical, maternity and pediatric clients. Two nurses served as midwives for gynecological cases. Irene Harvey was the first matron. The first midwives were Flora Koloviko and Edda Chimwala. Specialist doctors and surgeons came from Lilongwe, Malamulo Hospital, Zambia, South Africa and even from USA to serve at Blantyre Adventist Hospital.
Eunice Kanjira says that both Malamulo Hospital and BAH served as one institution with a single team of doctors and nurses. BAH became a popular town hospital frequented by Malawians of all origins, government officials as well as leading politicians such as Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, the first President of Malawi and his ministers such as John Tembo.
Today, Blantyre Adventist Hospital is known as the best hospital in Malawi, providing good and high-quality patient care with COVID-19 treatment, a range of theatre surgical procedures, dialysis, and close monitoring of patients in the wards among its services. BAH is now a 45-bed facility with pediatric neonatology ICU care and adult ICU. The team of medical workers comprises six specialists, eight general practitioners, 72 nurses, 27 other medical staff in diagnostic services, pharmacy and dental services as well as 78 members of support staff.
The catchment area for BAH includes the entire Malawi and bordering parts of Mozambique. Blantyre Adventist Hospital, as a Seventh-day Adventist institution, is mission-centered and preaches the gospel in the context of the three angels’ messages through its chaplaincy department which champions spiritual patients’ care, community outreach programmes, staff enrichment devotional programmes and charity services of the hospital to needy patients.