Training has always been of fundamental importance at Kiwoko. Moses, now head of Community Based Healthcare, remembers the days before any hospital buildings existed;
“What Dr Ian Clarke did was mobilise the community – he selected community volunteers and trained us. We started working especially in the area of organising patients and taking over the role of community health education, so that he could concentrate on the medication side. The first group which was trained had 15 people, and I was in the second which had 35.”
Nowadays, the hospital operates 3 major training programmes: for Nursing, Midwifery and Lab technicians. Over the 25 years of the hospital’s existence more than 5000 people have been trained.
About 70-80% of those who go through the training programme stay on and work at Kiwoko, while others choose to move elsewhere. Previous Medical Director, Rory Wilson, has no doubt regarding the value of the training programmes.
“We train amongst the best in the country, and have done since day one. People seek to come here, and if you’ve trained at Kiwoko, you’ll easily get a job somewhere else. We train too many so that they can go on and work elsewhere. Former trainees are now vice-chancellors of Universities, Principal Nursing Officers, Senior Nurses in districts – the influence of Kiwoko reaches out throughout Uganda.”
An important part of the training is conveying the specifically Christian ethos of the hospital to students, as Sister Sarah Kyamulabi, Principal Tutor of the Nurse Training School explains;
“The students know that attending the morning worship is part of their school programme, the first of the day’s lessons. Groups of students are assigned to a leader over a six-month period, and they learn from them about Christian values and the Bible.”