Mother Kevin of The Little Sisters of St. Francis founded Kamuli Mission Hospital in 1914 in two grass huts. It cares for all patients irrespective of religion or race. Most of the present buildings were completed in 1961 but development continues to this day. The first doctor, Dr Mary Mitchell arrived in 1926. The history of the hospital is therefore well established and this institution provides a vital facility for the local population. Nurse training began in 1950 and a school for midwives was established in 1962 and continues to run a comprehensive course for all aspects of nursing as well as continuing to train midwives.
During the 1970’s and 80’s very little was done due to the political situation in Uganda. Since the 1990’s Rotary Doctor Bank has become involved through the work of volunteers, the supply of equipment and culminating in a major project in 2014 which has converted the old operating theatre into a VVF ward and completely refurbished and extended the maternity ward. Kamuli Friends has continued the work of improving the hospital’s building stock with many new structures.
The hospital serves a large, poor, rural area with a population of over ¾ of a million people. It has 160 beds with wards for surgery, medicine, maternity and paediatrics and provides many of the functions that a district general hospital provides albeit on a smaller scale. The outpatient department operates a 24-hour casualty service and there are departments for antenatal care and the treatment of TB and HIV. The hospital sees around 50,000 outpatients and admits 10,000 inpatients each year.
Patients have to make a contribution to the costs of their care. As many of them are subsistence farmers without any wage employment and living in very limited circumstances, this can be very difficult for them. The hospital keeps charges to the minimum level so that most patients are not excluded from getting health care. There is a constant tension between raising enough money to keep the hospital running and making health care affordable to everyone.