Kisiizi village is located in the south west of Uganda, in the Kigezi highlands. The village is between the towns of Kabale and Rukingiri each an hours drive away on dirt track. It is a beautiful region, close to the Virunga volcanoes which form the boundary between Uganda, Rwanda and Zaire.
The area is one of the most densely populated in Uganda. There is no industry and most people are subsistence farmers.
Originally Kisiizi developed as a flax factory, diverting water from the waterfall to produce hydro-electricity. The scheme failed, but in 1958 the site was re-opened by the Ruanda Mission as a hospital and subsequently handed over to the Church of Uganda. Kisiizi Hospital has the most reliable source of electricity in the whole of Uganda.
The hospital has never closed to patients since it was opened, a testimony to God's faithful provision. Many staff have shown great dedication in service to patients who come from hundreds of miles, many traveling from beyond Mbarara the regional town 80 miles away. Although the Ugandan government has introduced free hospital care in some hospitals, there are still many extras to pay for and there are very few drugs. At Kisiizi the costs to the patients are subsidized and patients are not turned away if they cannot pay.
The hospital grounds house specialist surgical, maternity, psychiatric, and children’s wards as well as general medical buildings. New buildings such as the pharmacy and X-ray facilities were provided through charitable donations. Despite all this beds are limited, mattresses on the floor are common and children often share a bed in order to accommodate more patients. There is no pain relief for women in labour, and they must provide their own bed-sheets. Mice and rats can be found on the wards during night-duty. It is a far cry from our modern health care systems.