A healthy and productive community free from
preventable disease and with excellent health
services accessible to all.
The staff and management collaborated together to produce this shared vision. The Hospital believes that prevention is better than cure, and that if a disease is preventable we should be out in the community trying to stop it from occurring rather than just treating cases as they come to us. However, when people do become sick, we aim to provide them with the high quality care they need.
At many other Hospitals in Uganda health workers are absent or have low morale, drugs are out of stock more often than they are present, and patients wait for hours in queues. At Bwindi Community Hospital, staff members are on duty 24 hours a day, we plan ahead so that no drug is ever out of stock, and we make sure all patients are attended to quickly. We strive to serve our patients well and to achieve excellence.
Accessibility for All is the most important part of our Vision. We believe that all people, rich or poor, have an equal right to access health care, and that those living high in the mountains need care just as much as those living next to the Hospital, which is why we send teams into the community on seven days a week.
At Bwindi Community Hospital, we believe all aspects of life are important, and so spirituality, health, happiness and relationships are all incorporated into the phrase life in all its fullness. In Uganda it is traditional to offer generous hospitality to visitors, so they are included in the family of people who we hope to extend this life to. Bwindi is a Community Hospital, and in everything that we do we need the support, the understanding and the actions of the community around us.
Bwindi Community Hospital was founded in 2003 by Scott and Carol Kellermann. It began as an outreach clinic under a tree, and has grown into a 112-bed Hospital providing health care and health education services to a population of over 100,000 people. The Hospital began as a special mission to help the Batwa pygmies who were displaced from the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest after it was made a National Park in 1993. Since leaving the forest many Batwa have lived in extreme poverty and are affected by the health issues that poverty brings.
The Hospital was started particularly to provide health care to the Batwa, but quickly found itself treating all people living in the area. We define our population as the sub-counties of Kayonza and Mpungu in Kanungu District, and we now provide HIV education and treatment and dental outreach to a third sub-county, Kanyantorogo.
There are few other decent health services in this extremely remote area and people sometimes walk for more than a day to get to us. We send outreach teams into the community seven days a week to try to make sure that health care is accessible to all, and in June 2009 we opened a satellite health care centre in a Batwa settlement called Byumba, about 20 kilometres away from Bwindi.