David Gordon Memorial Hospital
Future Plans


The Hospital

see further information on the Livingstonia Hospital Partnership

The David Gordon Memorial Hospital, Livingstonia is a 100 bed mission hospital situated on a plateau 3000 feet above Lake Malawi and with panoramic views across the lake to the Tanzanian mountains 60 miles away. The Hospital was established by Scottish Presbyterian missionaries in 1910, and came under the control of the Synod of Livingstonia of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian about forty years ago. The Mission at Livingstonia had been established in 1894 by the Scottish doctor, clergyman, educationalist and explorer Dr. Robert Laws. Gordon_hosp.jpg (5724 bytes)

Also located on the Livingstonia plateau are several large boarding and day schools, both secondary and primary with a current enrolment of about 1800 pupils and a church which accommodates 500 people. There are two guest houses with basic accommodation for visitors. Future plans include the development of a University with Faculties of Education and Theology. A recent estimate gives the total population within the mission complex during term time as about 3700.

The Hospital and its associated Health Clinics serve a population of about 45000 in the Northern part of Malawi. At present the Hospital has an Outpatient Department, a Male and a Female/Paediatric ward and a Maternity Unit. There is also an operating theatre, a small laboratory, an X-ray unit, a Pharmacy and a Dental Unit.


The staff at the hospital currently includes an expatriate Doctor, one Clinical Officer who is Clinical Superintendent one expatriate Nursing Officer, a Matron and Deputy-Matron and 5 other enrolled Nurse/Midwives and 14 Medical Orderlies. In all there is a total staff of 58 with a further 44 working in the Health Clinics. The Hospital has also had visits during the past year from overseas  Specialists in Surgery Gynaecology, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology and Tuberculosis Control and welcomes further offers of Professional visits. Applications from Medical students from the U.K. who wish to spend their elective at Livingstonia are also welcomed and should be addressed to the Medical Officer, Although the local language is Citumbuka, all the trained staff are fluent in English.

Medical work

During the year 2000 the Hospital had 2509 in-patients admissions, plus 238 major and 497 minor operations were carried out. Over 10,000 patients are seen annually at the Hospital and its four associated Health Clinics. The Hospital sees a high incidence of malaria and its complications. Other major health problems include pneumonia arid other severe infections, tuberculosis, AIDS trauma and surgical emergencies such as Caesarian Section, strangulated hernia and other intestinal obstructions. Blood transfusion is regularly carried out with blood donations coming from the patients relatives.

Outlying Health Clinics

Over the years, health clinics have been established in four outlying villages on the shore of Lake Malawi.  An experienced health worker visited regularly by a community health team and on a monthly basis, a Doctor staffs each clinic.  Luwichi (1.5 hours) and Mlowe (2 hours) are accessible bu road, but Zunga and Tcharo have no roads and can only be reached from the lake by Livingstonia's 28 ft motor boat, which takes a further 0.75 hour and 2.25 hours, respectively, from Mlowe.

Community health

Although community health work has been carried out in Livingstonia for many years, the Primary Health Care (PHO) Department was formed in 1992. It is now under the leadershipof a Clinical Officer. Extensive community health programmes which are currently being carried out by PHC include:


Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning,


Malaria control,


AIDS control and Orphan Care,


Food security,


Water and Sanitation,


Drug Kits and


Low cost rural housing.

These programmes have successfully attracted considerable overseas grants.


The current annual expenditure of the curative work of the Hospital and its Health Clinics is �101,600. A government grant through the Christian Health Association of Malawi is made towards the salaries of national staff and this together with patients fees amounts to �66,500 per year, while the remaining �35,100 is covered by donations from overseas. Without donations the Hospital could not function adequately. The salaries of expatriate staff is covered by the sending church or organisation.