“Praise God for healing me!”
This was the exclamation of an HIV-positive patient on the final day of her hospital stay at Kiwoko Hospital. She’d been an inpatient for many weeks, suffering from a serious brain infection as a result of her advanced HIV disease. During her time at Kiwoko, she’d received endless tablets, injections, IV fluids and tubes in all sorts of places. But more than the medical treatment and procedures, she recognized that it was the true God who really healed her.
Our biggest prayer need as a hospital is for us to truly live up to our motto – to really display in action and word that ‘We treat’ but ‘Jesus heals’.
Kiwoko Hospital is a 250-bed mission hospital in Luweero, central Uganda. It serves a wide area of the rural poor living in this region of lush, green, and beautiful Uganda. Sadly, good quality medical care, without having to pay a bribe or wait for days on end, is very hard to access for the average Ugandan. Kiwoko Hospital serves to bring a high level of medical care to those who need it. It is a Church
of Uganda hospital, whose motto is ‘We treat, Jesus heals’, meaning that we aim to give medical care to the best of our ability but show that Jesus is the ultimate spiritual healer.
I have been at Kiwoko for the past two years, and have mainly been working on
the Paediatrics and Female Wards. We see a wide range of medical conditions – with lots of cases of malaria, tuberculosis, heart failure and complications of HIV. There are many challenges of working here – patients are often not able to afford the investigations and treatment they need, despite the hospital subsidising patients’ bills. Sometimes we’re unable to give adequate treatment due to lack of resources. However, it is amazing how much can be done with seemingly few resources – I’ve seen many children’s lives being saved simply with appropriate rehydration fluids, when they’ve arrived unconscious due to severe diarrhoea.
One of the great joys of working at Kiwoko, is that we are free to speak to patients about Jesus, and to pray with them. Although Uganda claims to be a Christian country, there is a lot of nominalism and prosperity gospel teaching, and a large population of Muslims. So there is still such great spiritual need for proclamation of the true Gospel. When a patient is severely sick, we can pray with them and encourage them to seek comfort in God’s love. The hospital Chaplain also comes to the wards to speak to patients, pray for them and hand out gospel tracts. There is also an evangelistic hospital radio that is played on the wards each evening.
However, there are also many spiritual battles here at Kiwoko. Witchcraft and traditional spirit worship is rife amongst the locals, and there is a lot of fear about a family member becoming
‘bewitched’, and, therefore, putting a curse on the whole family. Also, not all the staff working at Kiwoko are followers of Jesus themselves, and so, there is equally a mission field amongst the unbelieving hospital staff. Sadly these staff members do not share Kiwoko’s vision to bring the Gospel into day-to-day work.
– Natasha Knibbs