Kumi Hospital is a Private Not For Profit (PNFP) facility located in eastern Uganda, 300 km from Kampala. It is a rural hospital, which transformed from a leprosy centre to a general hospital in 1997.
The Hospital was founded by the Church Missionary Society in 1929 as a leprosarium in response to the need for specialised work among leprosy patients. Dr. Wiggins recognised this in 1927 after Sir Albert Cook had already treated many leprosy patients in 1909.
For many leprosy sufferers then, Kumi Leprosy Centre became the only place where they could live in community without being rejected, despised and discriminated. The disease leprosy then had a high social stigma, very deforming and had no hope of cure.
The only available treatment then was to hydnocarpus Oil injection (chulmoogra oil) an old Indian remedy. A clinical improvement was only attained in Tuberculoid leprosy but only temporary improvement in Lepromatous leprosy.
In the 1950’s the Sulphones were introduced and the treatment became easier, several leprosy treatment villages were built with the help of the local administrations of Teso, Lango, Bukedi, Sebei, Acholi and Karamoja.
In 1952 a Leprosy Assistants Training School was started to train Leprosy Assistants. In the seventies, with the change of attitude, a move was made to stop segregation. Leprosy treatment villages were closed including Wiggins Boarding School) and Leprosy Control was integrated into the Medical service. In 1983 the cure for Leprosy was found to be Multi Drug Therapy (MDT).
Over the years the Leprosy centre provided much noted care for Leprosy sufferers, care, treatment and rehabilitation.
The years 1985 – 1992 were years of conflict, which engulfed the Teso region. This Hospital suffered total collapse both in infrastructure and services due to the war.
By the end of the war in 1992, the Hospital lay in a sorry state, vandalised and turned into a Camp for IDP’s. The water-carrying infrastructure was also vandalized and so was the Farm that was looted of over 1000 heads of cattle. The hospital still bears the scars and the legacy of that dark period.
Since 1997,Kumi Leprosy centre by resolutions of the Board transformed to a General Hospital now Kumi Hospital. The Hospital has since then undergone major structural development, upgrading of facilities and infrastructure
To date the Hospital has grown to a 350-bed capacity providing a wide range of integrated services including Medical, surgical, rehabilitative, Primary health care, Community Based rehabilitation programmes and other specialised services such as AMREF Flying Doctor service offers VVF repairs and Reconstructive surgery. The Hospital also maintains a referral status for leprosy and TB in Eastern Uganda.
Kumi Hospital has now established itself as a preferred destination for the poor, for those who have not been reached, a centre for hope, healing and wholeness bearing witness to Christ.