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Top Ten Things To Know About Lacor Hospital

Readers,

Today I am excited share with you the top ten things I think are really important for you to know about Lacor Hospital.  Lacor is one of the institutions we help support that is doing extraordinary work in Gulu, Uganda. There are so many incredible people there doing such incredible things, that it was difficult for me to stop writing when I reached number ten.

I hope you enjoy reading it and I hope that I have somehow done justice to the magnitude of good this institution is doing.

xx  Sarah

 

10.  In 1961, an Italian pediatrician named Piero Corti and a Canadian surgeon named Lucille Teasdale took over the direction of Lacor Hospital, which was founded two years prior by a Comboni Missionary.  Although Dr. Teasdale only meant to remain at Lacor for a few months, she and Dr. Corti where married at the hospital chapel and dedicated the remainder of their lives to caring for the people of Gulu, Uganda.

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Dr. Teasdale and Dr. Corti on their wedding day at Lacor Hospital.

 

9.  Lacor was a safe haven to staff and community members throughout times of war.  When the district of Gulu was terrorized by Joseph Kony’s LRA, up to 10,000 community members walked for miles each night to seek refuge from rebel attacks within the gates of the hospital.

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Inside the gates of Lacor Hospital where people once sought refuge from rebel attacks.

 

8.   There are 482 patient beds in the main hospital.  Additionally, there are three peripheral Health Centers in the surrounding area, each with 24 patient beds.  A total of 554 beds makes Lacor the second largest health facility in Uganda.

7.  Not only is Lacor a hospital, but it is a teaching and training center as well.  There are currently 596 students at Lacor studying in many areas including nursing and midwifery, anesthesia and medical laboratory.

6.  Lacor is operated and staffed almost entirely by Ugandans.  Three Ugandan doctors are the directors who are responsible for the oversight and implementation of all decisions at the hospital.

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Meeting with some of Lacor’s biggest advocates, including the three directors, on my trip last June.  From left to right: me, Piero Paul Ocaya, Dr. Emintone Odong-Medical Director, Archbishop J.B. Obama, Dr. Martin Ogwang-Institutional Director, Dr. Cyprian Opira-Executive Director, Dominique Corti & Filippo Campo.

 

5.   There was a devastating Ebola outbreak in Gulu From October 2000 to January 2001.  International health organizations arrived and were astonished at the efficiency of the staff at Lacor in implementing and maintaining control measures.

4.   Dr. Matthew Lukwiya, the former medical superintendent and chosen successor of Lacor, was willing to risk his life for his staff and patients.  In 1989 when rebel groups tried to kidnap Italian nuns from the hospital grounds, Dr. Matthew persuaded them to take him instead.  He was held in the bush for over a week before being released.  His ultimate sacrifice was his death on December 6, 2000 after contracting Ebola virus during his tireless efforts to contain the outbreak of 2000.

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Dr. Matthew Lukwiya with Lucille Teasdale and Piero Corti.

 

3.   Last fiscal year, 211,489 people were treated at Lacor on an outpatient basis.  Though fees are very low, they are still inaccessible to many members of the community. It costs a patient approximately 1 US dollar to receive treatment at Lacor.  Pregnant women, children under the age of six and patients without financial means are all eligible for free healthcare.

2.  A grant to Lacor Hospital facilitated a study of the financial impact of the hospital in its community. By measuring the direct financial effects (payment of wages and local purchases), indirect financial effects (expenditures around Lacor by patients, students and families of patients) and induced financial effects (multiplicative effect given by the circulation of money), the economic measure of all financial influx that occurs due to the presence of Lacor Hospital in the local community was calculated. The resulting Social Return on Investment (SROI) was determined to be 2.74. This means that for every $100 donation, the community obtains an additional $274. This additional financial effect is in addition to the medical care and training provided at the hospital as a direct result of the donation.

1. Dr. Corti and Dr. Teasdale had a dream that Lacor Hospital would forever “offer the best possible care to the greatest number of people at the least cost”.  This mission continues to guide the hospital today.

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