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More about Kiwoko Hospital

Kiwoko Hospital:

Muriel has organised fundraising in our church over the last six years for the HIV/AIDS work of this hospital. The hospital was founded in 1987 by Dr Ian Clarke following the terrible civil war which devastated the Luweero District in which Kiwoko lies, and where many people were massacred during the Idi Amin and Obote regimes.  (More about Dr Clarke later)


The hospital has a total staff of about 200, as well as students from the School of Nursing and the School for Laboratory Assistants attached to the hospital.

Since January there is a new senior team – the only remaining senior Ugandan doctor is the surgeon Dr Peter Sserwardda. Ken Finch, an accountant, is the outgoing Project Manager while his wife Judith (an O.T.) was responsible for all the guests and elective students. The new Medical Superintendent (Dr Rory Wilson) was a General Practitioner in Ireland. Niall Manogue (from Ireland) is the Community Development Officer. A German Paediatric Surgeon (Raul) is supposed to be doing the community clinics, but is very valuable in the hospital.


The HIV/AIDS problem is big. One third of the women delivered in the hospital are HIV positive – and one of our original ‘targets’ was raising funds to protect newborn babies (a function now taken over by a larger donor). There are regular HIV/AIDS out patient clinics – which always start with group exercises (sort of aeroibics!). There is a specific Youth Centre where young people can drop in for counselling; support; employment training; and a general collective sense of unity.


As one would expect in a country with family sizes of 5-6 children, the Paediatric Ward is always full. They now have colour-coded cots – Red for the most seriously ill; Yellow for those on stabilised treatment; and White just about ready for discharge. This enables doctors and nurses to keep constant focus on those children most in need of attention. Of course mothers, or other family members, are always with the children to care for them – as in most other developing countries.


Recently a young Paediatric Registrar from Bristol has spent three months at Kiwoko and has very much improved the ‘protocols’ in the Intensive Care Baby Unit. This raises the ethical questions about how high a level of specialist facilities are required in that situation. The mothers often have to go home to look after other children, and breast milk then ceases. These tiny premature babies (who may have disabilities) will eventually be discharged home to very primitive conditions with no (or little) follow-up care.


Overall we were very impressed with the standard of work and the compassionate care in the hospital – which reflects the motto at the entrance to the hospital ~

“We treat – Jesus heals”.