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Kiwoko Hospital, Luwero, Uganda, 2013 - Emma Lindell


From Elective Reviews - Uganda - Kiwoko Hospital, Luwero, Uganda, 2013 - Emma Lindell

I travelled to Kiwoko hospital in Uganda for eight weeks, to undertake my medical elective. I chose Kiwoko hospital because it is a place that I know well, and have many connections to. I had visited twice, prior to my elective, both times as part of a team running children's clubs. This time would be very different.

Kiwoko hospital was set up in 1989, in the aftermath of the Ugandan civil war. A doctor from Bangor, Northern Ireland (which is where I'm also from) left home, together with his wife and three kids, and, funded by the Christian Mission Society Ireland (CMSI), began the hospital in the form of a clinic under a tree. The hospital has expanded hugely since then, it now boasts six wards, separate HIV, physiotherapy and antenatal departments, and a large laboratory and outpatients department (OPD). They even have two very well stocked theatres!

However, despite all this change, and a development of a nursing and laboratory training school alongside, they have never lost their strongly Christian ethic. Each working day starts with three-quarters of an hour of worship, prayer and talks, and they frequently send groups out to evangelise in the local area, as well as the not-so-local area! Nurses will pray with and for their patients, and unlike many hospitals in Uganda, no patient is ever turned away. There is a special fund for those who cannot afford the hospital fees. I rotated through several wards during my time there, but I spent the largest amounts of time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), paediatrics and maternity. One of the aspects I found most enjoyable was working with the community team to deliver antenatal classes, immunisations, and advice on sanitation and HIV care to those in the surrounding area.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Kiwoko, although it was certainly very challenging at times. Watching people, especially children, suffer because of lack of drugs, equipment or staff is very difficult, and all the more so when you can't step in and make a difference. I have learnt a lot from my elective, medically, but more importantly, my faith in God has deepened and grown. Hopefully it won't shrink back afterwards. Seeing the hospital staff and local people daily praising the Lord for all he has blessed them with is incredibly humbling. Everything is brought before God; the 'I'll do it myself' society back home could not be further from this one.

One of the babies in NICU – he had a kidney infection and was anaemic, but he survived and went home! Community immunisations and antenatal care – waiting for the mothers to arrive.

More from Elective Reviews: Uganda

  • Rushere Community Hospital, Uganda, 2010 - Mark Tan
  • Kiwoko Hospital, Luwero, Uganda, 2013 - Emma Lindell
  • Kitovu Hospital, Uganda, 2012 - David Matthew
  • Joy Hospice, 2013 - Carron Meney
  • Kagando Hospital, 2011 - Amber Wilson, medical elective
  • Kagando Mission Hospital, Uganda 2019 - Catherine Fairfield
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