The motto at Lugulu Hospital is, “We Treat, but Jesus Heals and Saves.” The hospital staff members have, for decades, considered the spiritual health of their patients and themselves an essential part of their Christian witness. Over the years, they have had daily worship anyplace they could find to hold a service. Most recently worship has been held in the hospital laundry room, but the laundry staff grew frustrated that they couldn’t get started with their work very early in the day. So, the staff took up a collection to build a chapel. Other Friends (local and abroad) and hospital board members also contributed funds so Lugulu Hospital could have a place for worship and an office for the hospital chaplain, Tom Simiyu.
Dedication of the new chapel took place on January 28, 2010. It was an honor for Kelly Kellum, Sylvia Graves, John Muhanji and Eden Grace to be invited to participate. Kelly is very special to the Kenyans as they remember his grandparents, Everett and Ruth Kellum, when the Kellums served to develop schools in Kenya during the 1930s and 1940s.
Lugulu Hospital reports that it has been elevated to higher status by the Ministry of Health due to the improvements made with the USAID-ASHA (American Schools and Hospitals Abroad) grant that was completed at the end of 2008. The grant provided $450,000 to purchase equipment and furnishings for the hospital. A computerized network which allows for recording of medical and financial data using very modern methods was part of that purchase. The ASHA grant also contributed to improvements in the eye clinic, dental clinic, x-ray services, ultrasound and physical therapy.
An award for the Best Delivery of Medical Services in Kenya was presented to the Comprehensive Care Center (CCC) at Lugulu Hospital last year. Initially funded by the Global Fund, the CCC was started in 2005 with the main objective being to restore hope and dignity to people living with HIV/Aids. Currently, Catholic Medical Mission Board-Kenya has taken over the funding.
Friends United Meeting appoints one member to the Lugulu Hospital Board of Governors: Eden Grace serves as recording secretary. Other board members represent the Elgon Religious Society of Friends and Chwele Yearly Meeting as well as the surrounding community. The hospital has 147 staff members that include 47 nurses and 8 clinical officers. The doctor, Simon Kisaka, is appointed by the government. The Adopt-a-Bed Program started by FUM many years ago is very much appreciated by the hospital. Approximately $10,000 is donated and sent each year to pay hospital expenses for patients who cannot otherwise afford medical care.
Lugulu Hospital continues to ask FUM to supply them with a missionary doctor. Not having one means that medical interns cannot be sent to Lugulu for training. Another consequence is the limited medical services that can be offered. Also a concern is that staff salaries are still not caught up from past years. Nevertheless, Lugulu Hospital is improving and respect for the staff and services there is growing.