KIDA Hospital

Two Friends of Ruwenzori board members traveled with founder Karen Gleason to visit KIDA in July 2017, carrying with them bags full of donated newborn onesies and blankets from generous donors from St. John's Episcopal Church in Oakland and from a collection gathered at board member Michelle Pollak’s office in Orinda, the Pollak and Pollak Wealth Management Company.

Mothers who deliver at KIDA Hospital often come unprepared to clothe their newborn, so these gifts are so happily received. Pictured here is Rose Kabanweri who delivered her baby in Fort Portal but who developed sepsis and was brought to KIDA Hospital for management.

With so many deliveries at KIDA Hospital (about 35 per month), the store of newborn clothes is getting low. We welcome more donations to bring next year.


KIDA has now raised enough money from supporters within Uganda for building a Children's Ward up to the roof! 2017 efforts included a raffle with great prizes and an auction in connection with KIDA's 2017 Vocational School Graduation held on February 10, 2017. Some Ugandan politicians and visitors to the Kitojo Guest Cottages also made donations.
 The Children's Ward roof was just completed in April 2017.  Work is currently being done to complete the Ward!

MOTHER THOUGHT HER CHILD WAS DYING! (story added 11/28/16)
Kozogo Nyakoojo, age 5, woke up one morning with a fever and headache. Within hours he couldn't talk and shortly thereafter closed his eyes and was unresponsive. Mother Beatrice rushed him to KIDA Hospital, while harboring fear and dread that she was losing her son. She had seen this happen before with friends and relatives who had lost young children after they suddenly became ill. 

The boy was diagnosed with severe malaria and its common accompaniment, severe anemia requiring blood transfusions along with IV fluids and anti-malarial drugs. After three days, Kozogo regained consciousness and by the time he was discharged at Day 4, you wouldn't even know he had been sick. Beatrice is giving thanks for her son's regained health and for the dedicated health workers at KIDA Hospital.
 Kozoga Nyakoojo smiles after recovering from severe malaria. 


Pictured here is Joyce Kabatembuzi, a KIDA sponsored orphan who is in her fourth year at Crane Star Secondary School. Her father died of AIDS when she was five, leaving 11 children and two wives. The family was often afflicted with malaria. Joyce's mother saw the value of joining the KIDA Community Health Care Cooperative because treatment for many illnesses was getting expensive. The family joined the coop and paid their premiums so they could afford the medical care. However they have not had any cases of malaria since the KIDA nurses visited their village and taught them how to use insecticide treated bednets and clean up their property by removing standing water and keeping the banana grove maintained. This KIDA coop-sponsored health teaching, along with drama group shows that reinforce the messages, has improved the health of the whole village.

            Joyce Kabatembuzi is staying healthy and doing well in school 



Because she was a member of KIDA's health insurance plan, 20 year old Kalimpa Thereza chose deliver her baby at KIDA Hospital. While this was her fourth pregnancy, Thereza had one living child; one baby had died and a previous pregnancy had ended in miscarrige. When she reached KIDA Hospital already in labor, the doctor determined that her condition required an emergency C-section.

After delivering a baby boy, the infant required resuscitation and Thereza developed a postpartum hemorrhage. She was rushed to the surgical unit to stop the bleeding, and the doctor needed to perform a hysterectomy to save her life.

If she hadn't been a member of KIDA's insurance plan, the cost of those two surgeries would have forced the family to sell property to pay the bill. Instead of paying almost $200 (more than three months' earnings for people who live on $2 a day), Thereza's copay was only $6. Today mother and baby are both thriving, and the family was able to keep the farm land they depend on for survival.

                                   Mother and baby are both doing well! 



Membership at the end of April reached a total of 1904 members in 19 village groups. KIDA is well on its way to reach their target membership number of 3,000 by the end of 2016. Group leaders meet quarterly and strategize ways to increase membership and help communities with disease prevention. "Let's take good health seriously, because prosperity is for those who are healthy physically and mentally," said Rev. Canon Ysufu Bamanya, KIDA's board chairman, at the April 14, 2016 meeting. "Be good ambassadors for the Bataka Insurance Plan, so that it will grow and prosper," said Rev. Canon Ezra Musobozi, KIDA's director.

Preventive care is an importat key to sustainability. The coop's coordinator Mr. Robert Mugenyi advised members to seek medical care immediately if one feels unwell to prevent more serious conditions and to adhere to preventive measures. Members agreed to start a campaign of house to house visits to advise about good hygiene, one important prevention strategy. Also each member is encouraged to keep a notebook that they bring to each medical visit for the clinician to write in.


                    One of KIDA Health Insurance Coop meetings 


In March, KIDA Hospital's catchment area receives heavy rains that bring an increase in malaria cases and diarrhea in children. On March 8th and 9th, all the hospital beds were occupied, so thankfully no more patients needed to be admitted. Dr. Charles Irumba reported that his medical team, although overstretched with twice the number of patients as usual, worked "tirelessly to handle those many patients successfully and no deaths were recorded." Of the 81 outpatients and 68 inpatients served during the week from March 6-13, 2016, 38 were children under age 5.

          Dr. Irumba, nurse Joy and Rev. Ezra tour the wards. All beds are full, most with children.



What good is a hospital if people cannot reach it?

When founders Rev. Ezra Musobozi and his wife Marjorie purchased a plot of land in rural Uganda to build their new HIV program, it was covered in a weed that "not even the goats would eat." Known locally as matojo, it is from this plant’s name that “Kitojo” was derived.

While one plant inspired the name of the region’s only hospital, new weeds threatened to block the way of patients. Even though the government recently added new gravel, the vegetation on the sides of the road to KIDA had started to grow out, especially at slope after the judge's farm.

When it seemed unlikely that government help would come any time soon, KIDA staff picked up machetes, rolled up their sleeves, and got to work. They chose market day for the project, and were able to attract several volunteers to help as they traveled to and from the market that day.

Located in a remote section of Western Uganda, KIDA is the only service provider of any kind within an 8-hour walk. The people who live in this region struggle with being able to earn enough to care for their basic needs, and the number of children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic has put additional strain on the ability of people to take care of their own lives.

KIDA quickly learned that running a rural hospital requires dealing with far more than medical and health matters.  In order to improve people’s health, KIDA must also help local community members develop and maintain roads, electricity and water sources, as well as education, job skills, affordable loans, health insurance, and far more.

We salute the energy and initiative of Rev. Musobozi and the rest of the KIDA staff, who are always ready to hack through the next challenge to bringing health and self-sufficiency to the people of the region.

Members of KIDA staff pick up their machetes and clear the overgrowth that was obstrucing access to KIDA Hospital        

Update on KCHIP (KIDA's Health Insurance Coop) November 30, 2015 


1500 people have now joined the cooperative and have been paying their premiums on time! Health Partners, who trained KIDA leaders, made a visit to KIDA recently to give more encouragement and advice about how to bring down a financial deficit, that still exists but is decreasing. 

KIDA leaders visit village groups and give health talks to help members avoid preventable diseases and better manage their own health. You can check out the inspiring work of Health Partners in Uganda here:

   Update on KCHIP (KIDA's Health Insurance Coop) July, 2015

Family membership in the plan has reached 93; paid up members increased from 557 to 1032, an 85% increase over the second quarter; full groups enrolled increased from 8 to 10 in the same period. KIDA adopted a new marketing technique by changing the name of the plan to a vernacular term "KIDA Batak Twejanjabe" which means "Let us as a local community take care of our health."

Click here to donate to help keep KIDA Hospital operating and saving lives.

   KIDA Hospital gets an unannounced inspection from the Uganda Ministry of Health (Update on June 22, 2015):

Dr. Henry Mwebesa, Uganda's commissioner in charge of Quality Assurance, represented Hon. Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, the Uganda Minister of Health, as the "chief guest" at KIDA's Vocational School graduation ceremony on June 19th. Before the ceremony, Dr. Mwebesa, did a thorough inspection of KIDA Hospital, found everything satisfactory, and later commissioned the General Ward. He was impresssed with cleanliness, organization and professionalism at the hospital and will report his findings to Dr. Tumwesigye, the Minister of Health back in Kampala.  This event greatly helps KIDA Hospital qualify for some Uganda government funding.

   KIDA Hospital receives a team from Fort Portal Blood Bank to collect blood donations (Update May 15, 2015):

 KIDA staff and the surrounding community responded well in this first blood donation exercise; 25 units of blood were collected.  More donation days will follow regularly. KIDA Hospital used 30 units of blood in the first four months of 2015. It is the only health center in three rural subcounties (Ruteete, Kasenda, and Buheesi) qualified to store and transfuse blood.

   A new approach to marketing KIDA's health insurance cooperative (Update on February 10, 2015):

Following the Health Partners health care coop training in September, KIDA learned that community based health insurance plans work best with existing groups for easy communication and coordination of members.  They have identified 65 groups and have visited and trained close to half of these to date.

   KIDA staff attend Health Partners seminar to improve management of KIDA's Health Insurance Cooperative (Update on September 20, 2014):

Last October KIDA launched a health insurance cooperative called KIDA Community Health Insurance Plan (KCHIP) for families.  The goal is to help very poor villagers afford their medical care by prepaying small monthly premiums, so when they use the clinic and hospital their co-pays are very small.  The program needs many more members to succeed.  Last week four leaders from KIDA attended a training seminar given by Health Partners, who have helped many NGO's in Uganda start and maintain healthcare coops. This training will help KIDA market the program more widely and successfully.

Marie Stopes International has replaced Baylor at KIDA in funding some activities of the "Saving Mothers Giving Life" program. KIDA is still waiting for them to fund transport vouchers for women, so poor women can more easily access prenatal and delivery services at KIDA Hospital.

Click here to donate to help keep KIDA Hospital operating and saving lives.

   Update on June 3, 2013:

The presence of KIDA Hospital has saved many mothers from maternal death and upgraded the general health of rural communities in Kabarole.  The huge influx of patients has outpaced fundraising capacity of the Friends of Ruwenzori and the other partners. Challenges abound but the resourceful staff have attacked each challenge one by one with courage and very limited resources.  Instead of purchasing a ready made incinerator to handle the increasing amount of hazardous waste generated by the hospital, KIDA constructed one themselves with bricks. It will soon be functional.

Baylor Uganda who has been helping to fund the "Saving Mothers, Giving Life" program has temporarily suspended support as of June 1, 2013 for several months.  We are appealing to well-wishers to help cover the $2,000/month gap in subsidies to keep all the pregnant women in the program during the interim Baylor evaluation period. 

   Update on September 10, 2012:

On July 23, 2012, KIDA Hospital opened the surgery unit.  This important milestone was the culmination of many months of planning, preparation, recruitment and training of staff. KIDA conducted a "surgical camp" for a week, offering free surgery as a public service and for advertising purposes.  The Uganda Ministry of Health cooperated by sending extra staff to help out for the week. 169 sugeries were performed, including an emergency Caesarian section on a woman in obstructive labor.  Now KIDA has the capacity to save many lives from maternal-infant death.

   A bit of history:

In October of 2009, the Friends of Ruwenzori Foundation launched a hospital fund, a capital campaign to raise funds for a much needed hospital at the KIDA center. FOR raised $224,000 that enabled KIDA to construct a general ward with surgery annex and install solar panels.  FOR also sent a shipment of hospital equipment at a cost of $60,000.  In August of 2011, KIDA opened KIDA Hospital and began offering general inpatient and outpatient services to the rural community for the first time. They opened an operating theater in July, 2012.   

See the "Medical Programs" page on this wesite for a summary of medical services now provided by KIDA.

KIDA spent the first half of 2011 finishing construction projects on the KIDA compound to allow expansion of the AIDS clinic into a full fledged hospital for the whole community. They attached an annex for surgery to General Ward (completed in 2010); they built a building with toilets for staff, patients and their caregivers; they created a separate building for vaccinations and prenatal care; they began to build much needed staff housing. They also installed solar panels and batteries to provide power, thanks to funding help from the Doris Duke Foundation and an individual donor.

In July 2011, KIDA hired staff for the new hospital and began orienting them.  In collaboration with the Uganda Ministry of Health (who issued a license to KIDA to operate a health center), KIDA opened the hospital on August 2nd, 2011, designated "Family Health Day".  1600 people showed up to take advantage of the one day of free testing and treatment. In the month of August, 222 outpatients were seen, 31 inpatients were admitted and 7 babies were born.  The numbers of patients have been steadily increasing since.

Early 2011 in Boston, MA, the International Medical Equipment Collaborative (IMEC) gathered and packed complete suites of donated hospital equipment according the the specifications of KIDA. The 40 foot shipping container left June 24th and finally arrived at KIDA hospital on November 25th.  The community received it with great joy and the staff's ability to provide quality has greatly increased.

Besides Friends of Ruwenzori, KIDA is grateful for the support from Baylor University and the Marie Stopes Foundation who offered support through the "Saving Mothers Giving Life" initiative in the country of Uganda.   More help is needed from both additional partners and current donors to assure KIDA Hospital's viability.  Please contact Karen Gleason to volunteer financial help and partnering suggestions. 

KIDA's current infrastructure needs include a more adequate water collection and storage system. The next building to be built is a new Children's ward to give more bed space for the largest group of inpatients and their caregivers.  KIDA is also planning a "Safe Motherhood Complex" to alleviate current cramped conditions during labor, delivery and post-C section care.   Help us build them!  Every gift helps.

5934 vaccinations were given in 2014
5934 vaccinations were given in 2014
272 women delivered babies at KIDA Hospital in 2014
272 women delivered babies at KIDA Hospital in 2014
staff members clearing the road
KIDA staff members clearing the road
One of KIDA Health Insurance Coop meetings
One of KIDA Health Insurance Coop meetings
Mother and baby are doing well!
Mother and baby are doing well!
Joyce Kabatembuzi is staying healthy and doing well in school
Joyce Kabatembuzi is staying healthy and doing well in school
 Kozoga Nyakoojo smiles after recovering from severe malaria.
Kozoga Nyakoojo smiles after recovering from severe malaria.
Rose receives baby clothes gift
Rose receives baby clothes gift