Kiwoko Hospital Staff in Uganda Describe Visit To Ulster Hospital as Golden Opportunity

14th March 2024
Kiwoko Group Photo

“Coming to this hospital is an opportunity for learning. We have learned a lot from visiting the pharmacy, the wards and the theatres. It is a huge lesson for us.”

These are the thoughts of Kiwoko Hospital Leader Sam Oyirwoth, who along with Pharmacist Shadrach Lukwago, were given a guided tour of the Ulster Hospital’s Pharmacy Dispensary.  They also had the opportunity to see first-hand how pharmacy operates on the ward and they enjoyed a visit to the Day Procedure Unit and endoscopy theatre.

The visit is part of an ongoing partnership between Kiwoko Hospital and the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust which was formed in 2006. Staff within the Trust fundraise for the Hospital, sending disused equipment and arrange for medical teams to visit each year, bringing core skills and expertise.

Shadrach explained that in Kiwoko Hospital there are a total of just two Pharmacists. “What the Ulster Hospital has is complex compared to what we have in Kiwoko Hospital. We do not have an auto-dispenser (pharmacy robot).  There are so many supplies here and the process is systematic. I have seen the checks that you do, how the drugs get to a patient and there are some good lessons for us to learn.”

Shadrach described the hospital visit as a “golden opportunity.” “There is a lot we can learn from here, the Ulster Hospital is far ahead of Kiwoko Hospital.”

Kiwoko Hospital leader Sam added that the visit had been a “great experience.” Sam added, “What we have seen is a good example as we aim for the future. This is where we should be going. We have witnessed teams learning and working together. This is much better than theory. This visit gives us an idea of what we can do and is key in terms of how Kiwoko Hospital can benefit. The working relationships here are amazing. It is something we should emulate back in Kiwoko Hospital and share with our people.”

“We have learned a lot, from the Pharmacy to the wards, to the theatres. There is hope for Kiwoko Hospital.”

Jim McAnlis from Friends of Kiwoko Hospital, who accompanied Sam and Shadrach on the tour said, “Kiwoko Hospital is a very important place in Uganda, a place where there has been war and trauma. The support it receives from the South Eastern Trust is very, very important. It helps to save the lives of many people.

“I have seen major changes in Kiwoko Hospital and it improves continually year after year. It has one of the best Maternity Units in the country. The support that the South Eastern Trust gives is essential for that ongoing work.”

Head of Pharmacy and Medicines Management at the Ulster Hospital, Jill Macintyre commented, “Shadrach and Sam had the chance to see how the technology is used, improving patient safety and providing the medicines to wards and patients safely and efficiently. They were impressed with the auto dispenser (robot) and the encompass system which allows prescriptions and orders to be electronically transmitted to Pharmacy.

“They also saw the important roles of the ward based Pharmacy teams and the use of technology to order the weekly stock for the wards, along with patient dispensing where discharge prescriptions are dispensed by ward based pharmacy technicians to improve patient flow.”

Director of Surgery, Elective, Maternity and Paediatrics, Maggie Parks who has visited Kiwoko Hospital on two occasions, said she and her team were “delighted” to welcome Shadrach, Sam and Jim McAnlis from Friends of Kiwoko Hospital to the South Eastern Trust. Maggie said, “Kiwoko Hospital has long links and connections with this hospital and Northern Ireland. Around 40 years ago a local GP, Dr Ian Clarke developed Kiwoko Hospital.

“Since then, there has been lots of visits from the South Eastern Trust to Kiwoko Hospital to support them and to share experiences.”

Maggie continued: “I would like to say a huge thank you to staff within the South Eastern Trust who have been really supportive to Kiwoko Hospital over the years.”