Kilu ‘ufi Hospital, Malaita
+677 40 272
Kilu’ ufi hospital, Malaita province is the third largest hospital in Solomon Islands and located 4km from Auki, the capital of Malaita Province. The island of Malaita is home to one-third of the Solomon Island’s population (about 170, 000 people).
A proper government hospital first opened in Kilu ‘ufi in 1915 with two doctors, one of whom worked on circuit throughout the islands. The first nurse at Kilu ‘ufi hospital was Edith E. Elliot, and Dr Nathaniel Crichlow (q.v.), was the first Government Medical Officer, arrived in Tulagi in 1914.
The man-made islands are not far from Auki and are a popular tourist attraction. From there you can also take a one hour motorised canoe ride which will take you back in time to see and experience century-old cultures of the people of the Langalanga Lagoon. Malaita is also the home of the traditional shell money – which is still in circulation there. Malaita is also famous for the haunting sound of its unique panpipe bands – especially those on Are Are Lagoon.
Auki is a pain to reach from Australia if you are making a specific visit because none of the domestic flights line up with the international, and so there’s a forced overnight in Honiara both on arrival and departure. However, from Honiara its only 30 minutes flying time with Flysolomons having daily flights Monday to Saturday from Honiara. The boat trip from Honiara to Auki takes 3 hours, and is how most patients are transferred across to National Referral Hospital in Honiara. Auki airport is in Gwaunaruu which is 10km from Auki, and 5km from Kilu ‘ufi hospital (see map above).
Accommodation in Auki is comfortable but not really “tourist class” and unfortunately not great value at around SBD 600/night. The main hotels are all at Auki, and include Auki Hotel, Auki Lodge, and Rarasu Motel.
The number of beds in 2005 was 150, with a large psychiatric inpatient and outpatient service. Although it is the second largest hospital in Solomon Islands, only basic medications are available. There are five wards: male, female, children’s ward, the isolation ward for TB patients and the antenatal/postnatal/labour ward. Kilu’ufi is home to the National Psychiatric Unit, which is a relatively small unit comprised of seperate male and female beds (14 male, 10 female), and which also offers psychiatric outpatient facilities. It is mainly run by psychiatric nurses.
Currently, the construction of a new Kilu’ufi hospital on the site of the existing hospital is in progress.
STAFF AND CONTACTS
Kilu ‘ufi hosptial is a well run unit, and volunteers are very much welcome, and can be easily organised by contacting Dr. Henry Kako (Director of Medical Services – Kilu ‘ufi Hospital), or Dr Micky Olangi (General Surgeon).