Introducing our work in Uganda

One of the reasons I’ve started writing this blog is to keep you up-to-date with our plans to work at a mission hospital called Kisiizi, in south-west Uganda. We’re planning to be there for a year, from October 2008.

The Hospital

The original building—a former flax mill—was converted to a hospital in 1958. Since then, it has grown considerably and now has an associated nursing school, orphan support programme, and a school, as well as many new buildings, wards and operating theatres. People come from many miles away (several days’ walk for many) for treatment at the hospital, which has never stopped accepting patients since it opened 50 years ago. It’s run by the Church of Uganda.

Interestingly (for me, at least!) electricity is supplied to the hospital by a 60Kw hydroelectric generator which draws water from the river behind the hospital. It’s being extended and upgraded at the moment, and means that the hospital and associated buildings have the most stable power supply in Uganda!

You can find our more about the hospital on Ian Spillman’s Kisiizi Hospital website. Ian is a former medical superintendent, and a paediatric consultant in Macclesfield.

Why Kisiizi?

For several years, we’re both felt called to work overseas for a period of time. Choosing when to go has been made more complicated by the vagaries of the NHS employment structure, in which Kate has a ‘rotation’ for several years.

For the past 2 years, we’ve been searching seriously for the right place to work. Our combination of medical and decidedly non-medical skills can’t be accommodated by many NGOs and so weren’t suitable for us (although they all do fantastic work). We obviously want to work in the same place.

Kate has spent time in Kisiizi already. While she was at medical school in Liverpool, she spent a 2-month period there in the summer of 2002. From first-hand experience, she knows the dedication of the team and the life-changing work the hospital does. After a lot of prayer, we’re certain Kisiizi is the right place for us.

What we’re going to do

Kate and I are intending to work in Kisiizi from the beginning of October 2008, for a year. Kate (a paediatrician) will obviously be doing medical work. As well as treating patients, it will be a priority for her to pass on skills to the local staff, and she’s got some great ideas about the training she’d like to do.

There are a number of things I’m planning to help with. There are always new projects going on at Kisiizi: as a project manager I’m hoping to be involved in some of them—passing on my skills to other staff where appropriate. I’m also looking forward to raising the profile of the hospital by writing about the work the team do, and possibly making some videos to share with you. Expect to see some of them here!

As well as the contributions we can make to the vital work Kisiizi does, we’re both looking forward to learning. Kisiizi is a mission hospital, with God at the very centre of what goes on. There are loads of stories of God’s provision in situations which seem completely hopeless: we’re looking forward to being part of some of them.

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