Saint Francis' Hospital Katete, Zambia
Saint Francis' HospitalKatete, Zambia


The local language is ChiNyanja (also called to ChiChewa) - which is spoken through most of Zambia and Malawi. Although English is Zambia’s “official” second language, most patients know only a few words. However, almost all of the hospital’s staff speak excellent English, and in clinics or on the wards they will translate for you. But learning a few words will earn you a lot of respect, and make ward rounds much quicker - especially in Paediatrics, where a few stock phrases get you a long way.


Handy words/phrases are...

  • how are you? - Muli bwanji? (reply: Bwino; [Muli] Bwanji? - I’m fine; how are you?)
  • thank you - zikomo
  • I’m sorry/sad to hear that - Pepani
  • hospital - chipatala
  • doctor - dokotala


Clinical words/phrases...

  • diarrhoea - tulula
  • vomiting - sanza
  • cough - kosamola
  • breathless - befu
  • fever - kupiya
  • eating - kudya
  • drinking - kumwa
  • pain - chiwawa
  • chest - chifuwa
  • fit/seizure -
  • medicine - mankhwala
  • lie down - gonani
  • sit up - okani

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