Hospitals Operated and Supported by Kissito Receive #1 Hospital Rankings for All of Uganda

There are currently 14 referral hospitals in Uganda, and 154 health center IVs in Uganda. It was just announced by the Ministry of Health during the National Assembly Review Meeting that sat at Africana Hotel in September 2013.

uganda_mgaletraining2 Ministry of Health ranks the health centers and hospitals based on their Annual Assembly Review meetings and through their field officer’s situation analysis Kissito’s Mbale Referral Hospital and Bugabero Health Center IV have received the highest grading, from #60 last year (2012) to #1 this year 2013, of all the health center IV’s or hospitals in the entire country of Uganda.

In Uganda there are 70 health centers IV’s and 1 Referral hospital that Kissito operates or supports. One type is called a Health Center IV, a health center that typically serves around 150 – 250 patients per day with a cachement population of around 400,000 people. Kissito supports the closest referral hospital, Mbale Regional Referral Hospital in Mbale, District. Mbale serves around 500 – 1000 patients per day with a cachement population of around 4,000,000 people or 14 Districts in Eastern Region in Uganda.

“While this latest grading for two of our 70 supported health centers and hospitals shows tremendous progress, Kissito believes this is only scratching the surface. This is a marathon for these communities and Kissito plans to support it with everything they have. We won’t rest until all 70 are graded number 1 and then we will build more because that is what the people of Uganda deserve”, said Tom Clarke, CEO of Kissito International.

mAmbulanceBugabero Health Center IV three years ago was a down trodden clinic whose operating theater was closed, and the only services being provided were distribution of minimal medications and referral services to the larger hospital in Mbale. Prior to Kissito’s involvement in operations Bugabero served around 20 patients per day. Since Kissito offered support and operational services, Bugabero now averages 250 patients per day. The difference is in the services being offered. Since Kissito has been involved Bugabero has served 110,169 patients, 2,015 surgical procedures have been performed, 1,011 babies have been delivered, and 1,227 children under five have been rehabilitated and treated.

Mbale Regional Referral Hospital in Eastern Region, Uganda is supported by Kissito. Between 2011 and 2013 with Kissito’s involvement 149,333 patients have been served, 23,485 surgical procedures have been performed, and 10,576 babies have been delivered, and 1,312 malnourished children have been rehabilitated and treated.

Findings from the Uganda research team

Photo by: April ParsonsLaura Fisher, with translation help from Uthman, surveys a patient at a health center.

Photo by: April Parsons
Laura Fisher, with translation help from Uthman, surveys a patient at a health center.

“We really should be working in all 69 of these health centers,” said Kissito President Tom Clarke one night, during a casual conversation at the Ugandan volunteer house. It was a simple statement that brought about one of the biggest tasks the KHI research team has ever taken on.

We knew they needed the help, and we knew we had help to give, but what were the specifics? That is what our key researchers Laura Fisher, and Doug Dasilva, have set out to find. Instead of just giving out goodie bags of gauze and gloves, or placing incubators in random facilities, the research team will be going into all 69 facilities in the Mbale, Manafwa and Baduda districts to find out what each facility needs; everything from the types of drugs, and supplies, to water and electricity, and to possible improvements on staff and patient satisfaction.

After a lot of hard work, literature reviews, and discussions with doctors they created a three-tier comprehensive study. The first part is a massive survey, 747 questions to be exact, that asks about every single drug, supply or piece of equipment that a health center would have. The second is health worker surveys, which get both qualitative and quantitative data; how often to they work, what do they need to better perform their job etc. The third is patient satisfaction surveys. They ask the patients about their experience at the health center; whether they knew what their diagnosis was, or when to take their medicine.


It’s been about two months and the research team is not even half way done with the baseline. Most facilities take anywhere from one to two hours to get to, and you could never complete the surveys at more than two health centers in a day (and that doesn’t include the document organizing or data entry!).

So far they have completed the entire Baduda district, and half of the Manafwa district. Although they have a long way to go, some of the statistics they have found already are quite surprising, and really tell a tale of just how much work we have cut out for us.

Data below is from 25 facilities – 4 Hospitals/Health center 4s, 11 health center 3s, and 10 health center 2s:

12% have running water from the city.

Only 60% have a functioning water tank.

That means 40% percent of facilities do not have water.

80% of facilities do not have electricity.

40% do not have nutrition patient education services

20% do not have a thermometer.

12% do not have a stethoscope.

76% do not have a measuring tape for height.

And only 24% of health facilities have access to an ambulance.

This is just the beginning of their assessment. They hope to have the surveys completed by the end of April and will then be able to give completely accurate statistics for the eastern region of Uganda.

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