2009 – Mitie House Renovations

The aim:

To renovate and convert the old colonial building on the hospital site into a multi-purpose staff accommodation/training venue.

Why the need?

A country such as the Gambia could never seek to retain health staff through increased wages. Yet in this globalised world, where human resources can move so fluidly across international borders, stopping this loss of staff would seem all but impossible. As with most African countries, the best and brightest doctors and nurses have followed the bright lights and high wages to the developed nations…often leaving threadbare healthcare sectors behind them. When Anita first arrived in Bansang back in 1992, the impact of this brain drain was all too evident. One doctor served the entire hospital – which in turn served 600,000 people. Wards were chronically short staffed, and there was an understandable sense of hopelessness and despair.

From the earliest years, Anita and team identified staff retention and motivation as THE most important problem to address. Developing this grand old colonial house on the hospital site would have multiple benefits. Its sheer size would allow for the creation of multiple staff accommodation units for newly qualified staff (who would otherwise live in squalid housing elsewhere). The close proximity to the hospital would mean that in the event of an emergency, staff could be on site in minutes. The grand areas downstairs were also large enough for the entire staff of Bansang Hospital to congregate at once, opening up the possibility for large training excercises, as well as motivational events.

The project:

The old colonial house had long stood as a grand old structure with no real future. Having been gutted by fire, it had stood derelict for decades. With the incredible support of MITIE International, renovations began in 2007 to convert this old house into a multi-purpose building that would include the following facilities;

– 12 single bed rooms for qualified staff

– 2 guest suites for visiting volunteers and charitable organisations

– 1 large multi-function converence room for teaching, awards, ceremonies and other staff enrichment activities

– A medical library for use by all of Bansang’s medical staff.

The pictures below show the dramatic changes that MITIE International brought to the old colonial house;

Before the renovations

The renovation process

How it is today


Since MITIE engineering’s intervention in 2005, the MITIE house has become a vital part of the Bansang Hospital landscape. It has provided accommodation for 20 newly qualified staff, as well as a place for other members of staff to meet and relax. The function area downstairs has also been used for training seminars, as well as for the annual staff awards ceremony. Prior to this, there was nowhere that could host such large gatherings of people.

An additional legacy of this intervention is that other charities and healthcare organisations now consider Bansang as the ideal place to base their own outreach programmes.

Funding status:

The BHA pays for two full time cleaners to maintain the MITIE house at £240 per year each. Additional maintenance costs are currently running at around £300 per year. We are actively seeking annual donors to cover these costs. If you would like to support a cleaner or the wider MITIE House maintenance programme, please donate to the specific donation page, or contact Anita directly.