Mutumbara Mission is a longstanding Methodist mission center in Mutumbara, Zimbabwe, about 80 miles south of Africa University. I first visited Mutumbara as a 12-year old in 1948 when our family came to Zimbabwe from Angola as delegates to the Africa Central Conference. This time, I went with Dr. Wembodinga, Dean of our Faculty of Health Sciences, and two friends from Mutare who also have ties to Mutumbara. Obviously, a lot has changed in the nearly seven decades since my last visit. Yet, the emphasis remains the same, with the church, schools and hospital providing services to people throughout the area.
One of the nurses in charge at the hospital gave us a tour of the hospital. She had earned her MPH degree at AU last year, so we knew each other well. The Mutumbara Mission Hospital has a 120-bed capacity, plus an additional 50+ beds for expectant mothers. With four doctors on staff, it is quite a bit larger than the Old Mutare Mission Hospital near AU. It’s also more active, with nearly 160 babies delivered in January alone! Still, like the Old Mutare Mission Hospital, it would benefit from up-grading of the physical facility. As always in Zimbabwe, severe limitation of funds greatly restricts what can be done.