HRH Leaders in Action Interview: Sister Rose of Kamuli
An interview series with HRH leaders and champions produced by the HRH Global Resource Center.
Sister Rose is the Administrator for the Saint Joseph’s Midwifery and Comprehensive Nursing School and the Kamuli Mission Hospital in Uganda.
How did the Kamuli hospital and school begin?
Kamuli Hospital was opened in 1914 by Mother Kevin, an Irish nun, from the congregation of the Little Sisters of Saint Francis of Assisi. She came during a time when Uganda was suffering from high levels of health illiteracy, and the rate of maternal death in Kamuli was very high, so she created a dispensary to help save the lives of these mothers. She eventually gathered enough support to develop the dispensary further and established a hospital in 1950 that still functions as a practical training site for our students. In 1958, the school was opened to teach nursing, and in 1962, it was upgraded to an enrolled midwifery school.
What is special about Kamuli School?
We have become known for the quality of our midwifery and nursing training and producing health workers able to provide quality care to patients. Before our students complete their studies, different hospitals and other institutions have already hired them. These institutions say that Kamuli nurses have had quality academic and service training and know how to provide excellent health care to patients. Many people from all areas of Uganda come here despite how hard it is to reach this place, which makes us feel we are doing something good since the students believe in what we do.
Can you describe what you do at the Kamuli School?
I oversee the smooth running of the school, the hospital and medicine supply. I ensure that the school policy is strictly followed by principal tutors, the tutors, the clinical mentors, students and all those who are working in school. I also make sure students are being taught effectively and that they get the necessary support from the hospital staff during their practical training.
What do you like most about your job?
As a hospital administrator, I like this post because it involves planning and organizing the staff and resources and ensuring that all the necessary facilities and equipment are working to help the doctors and nurses serve patients. If I can provide that, then I am satisfied because together we are saving lives.
Can you tell me about how you help improve the lives of patients?
As an administrator, I do not directly handle the lives of patients, but I support their care by seeing that we have motivated staff available to help. I also work to mobilize resources to repair facilities and make critically needed improvements. For example, six month ago, the roof of the maternity ward started collapsing, which directly affected the lives of the mothers and children in the ward. I called on a team both internally and externally of friends who believe in our hospital to find the funding and labor to install a new roof. We are now are working on how to put a water and sewage system in place.
As an administrator, what is your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge is trying to maintain the human resources. Although we easily attract staff, too often we fail to motivate them and retain them.
What is one thing that has inspired you?
What motivates me is very simple. Just seeing that my little input has great impact in the lives of the patients makes me happy. When I visit the wards, I see the patients are getting healthy, and they tell me they like the service they get here, which really motivates me.
What do you see on the road ahead for Kamuli School?
At the moment, Kamuli is only producing certificates, but we hope to start offering diploma and degree level training because we have the capacity. If we are supported, we can make it.