The story of Dr ‘Karanda’

I received my medical degree and Fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the University of Toronto. From 1995 until 2012 I served at the Salvation Army Howard Hospital in rural Zimbabwe, and as chief medical officer since 1999.

I am an honorary lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, and Scientific and Affiliate Staff at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. My clinical interests include maternal child health, HIV prevention, treatment and care, cancer screening and family planning.

In 2008, I received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Windsor, a Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International and the inaugural Teasdale-Corti Humanitarian Award from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. My wife, Pedrinah and l, are ordained ministers. In December 2012, we relocated to Karanda Mission Hospital as volunteers and have subsequently been appointed to TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission). We have been providing medical, social and spiritual care to under-served areas of Zimbabwe for 18-plus years.

About 75 000 people seek assistance each year at Karanda, many more served by the community outreach programmes. There is satisfaction in the daily tasks of our ministry – a mother saved in childbirth, a malnourished infant restored to health, an adult living with HIV counselled on healthy living. There is always hope, amid the most difficult circumstances. Joy does find a way.

We have three sons, James (15 years), Alexander (11 years) and Andrew (one year). James and Alexander are teaching Andrew how to read, write and watch out for snakes and scorpions in the backyard!

Karanda is a 150-bed mission hospital in the Mount Darwin district hospital of northern Zimbabwe serving about 220 000 people, mostly subsistence farmers. We have a nursing school, training midwives and general nurses. We see over 75 000 patients a year. Karanda opened in 1961 to help meet the needs of the mission stations with clinics spread across the Zambezi Valley.

Everything at Karanda is about medical care, even our grounds staff can be considered part of this. We have 200 staff members. Besides the hospital and nursing school, we also have a primary school for the staff children, a goat project to allow HIV-positive mothers to feed their babies, and an orphan care, home-based care project.

 

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