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Kataate Medical Center

The Kataate Medical Center is an ongoing miracle! Who could imagine that old, dilapidated, small buildings can be upgraded to Medical Center with a Surgery Center? And, how could there be surgeries in Kanugu when there is no reliable electricity!  Well, the joint efforts from Rotary Clubs, religious organizations, and amazing visionaries made this miracle possible.  Read the details of this story below.

The next step in this miraculous story is to get an anesthesiology machine. Currently, surgeries are being done with local anesthesia only. Although this is fine for C-sections and many other ailments, we all know there are critical times when general anesthesia is required. 

Join us in the AM (Anesthesiology Machine) Campaign

  Together we can raise US$20,000.  This will enable us to:

  • Buy this life-saving anesthesiology machine in Uganda

  • Transport this to Kanungu and set this up in the Medical Center

  • Have a Maintenance Contract to guarantee its proper working order!

The Story of Kataate Medical Center

In 1938, the British built a small complex in Kanungu to take care of the medical needs of British coffee and tea farmers.  Ugandans were not allowed to get care there.  In the 1970s during the Idi Amin reign of terror, Amin’s soldiers ripped out anything of value at all.  And I mean anything and everything…including plumbing right out of the walls.   We can fast forward to about 2010. Though the buildings sat there for decades, some midwives realized they could clean the buildings up to deliver babies.   So the local midwives used it.  There was no plumbing, no electricity.  But the buildings protected them from the wind, rain, and the hot sun. 

If a baby was being born at night, they would pull in a small motorcycle called a Boda Boda and turn on the headlight so they could see.   Obviously, the conditions could use some improvement.    But at least the fast-thinking, courageous midwives could deliver healthy babies and mothers.    When there was a problem, when babies were not coming, when any of a thousand things happened during the delivery and the mother needed a C-Section, things got bad quickly.  The closest Medical Center to do a C-Section was hours away, that is IF they could get a car, IF there was gas available in the town, and IF the roads were passable.  And of course the final “IF”…IF there the mother had enough time.    During the rainy season, sometimes that was impossible. 

Almost everyone in Kanungu has stories of losing a mother, an aunt, sister, wife, cousin, and friends in childbirth.  On many levels, it was the heartbreak of Kanungu. 

Kataate Story

BUT, with help from Rotary Clubs all over the world, religious organizations all over the world, individuals all over the world, and especially a young doctor from Germany, Dr. Holger Listle, the old buildings had a comeback that is no less than a miracle.  And a brand new Surgery Center was built with funds from the Memmingen Rotary Club in Germany.    There is no reliable electricity in Kanungu.  So we put in reliable, cost-efficient Solar Power in the new Medical Center.  It is officially called Kataate Medical Center in Kanungu, Uganda.   As Solar Power was going in, two Ugandan doctors have made Kanungu their home.  I was in Los Angeles, CA when at about 2:15 am I got a call from Dr. Holger Listle that the first C-Section baby had just been delivered at Kataate.  That was the most thrilling phone call of my life.  That was February 17, 2020.  Since then,  there have been many C-section deliveries at Kataate Medical Center., including twins!


Of course, the Covid -19 Pandemic has happened since then.  And the Kataate Medical Center has proven to be invaluable to the community.  My wonderful Westwood Village Rotary Club made donations for PPE and medications and many of the supplies they need to handle Covid 19.  We even have private rooms for contagious diseases like Covid -19.  Our Solar Power is working magnificently. 


Our big challenge right now is getting $20,000 together for an Anesthesiology Machine.   Our surgeries are all with local anesthesia, which is fine for C-sections and many other ailments.   I even had a C-section with my daughter using local anesthesia.  But, as we all know,  there are times when you really need to have a person be unconscious.   So an Anesthesiology Machine is next.

- Marsha Hunt

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