Kagando Rural Development Center began in 1965, primarily as a hospital for lepers through the work of the African Inland Mission.
African Inland Mission (AIM) was founded in 1895 by Peter Cameron Scott, a young man whose goal was to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ inland from the coast of Kenya on Africa's eastern shore all the way to Chad in central Africa. Scott and several of the original seven-member team died shortly after arriving in Africa, and others left because of poor health. After three years only one member remained.
From that seemingly hopeless beginning, AIM has grown to serve the People of Africa through ministries in church development, medicine and agriculture. It now has more than 850 missionaries working in 15 African countries and islands in the Indian Ocean.
Diversity in Response to Community Need
Over the years, the hospital's activities diversified in response to community needs. A community based health care project was established following a severe cholera outbreak in 1978. In 1981, an agricultural extension program began to address increasing malnutrition in the area. The programs continued to expand and in 1986 Kagando Hospital and its outreach activities became Kagando Rural Development Center (KARUDEC).
At present, KARUDEC programs intimately involve the people in its catchment area. The opportunities to help them improve their lives are many and the financial resources are few. However, despite daunting odds, much is being accomplished.
Some of the Projects Supported By KARUDEC:
- Making clean water accessible in the district
- AIDS prevention and treatment, including detection in pregnant women, and subsequent treatment to prevent transmission to newborns
- Assisting caregivers of AIDS orphans by providing nutritional and hygienic guidance and small stipends for the children's maintenance and schooling
- Malaria prevention including eradication of mosquito breeding areas and the use of sleeping nets treated with insecticide
- Training community health workers to treat acute malaria using kits partially funded by local councils
- Developing disease prevention awareness and encouraging participation in immunization programs
- Teaching illiterate adults, mostly women, to read and write
- Improving access to prenatal care, especially for isolated mountain women, and early referral of obstetrical complications by traditional birth attendants to reduce the high maternal and infant mortality rates
- Helping destitute widows and caregivers of orphans to establish renumerative enterprises through workshops and small loans. These range from sewing and weaving to growing cash crops, to raising and selling goats, pigs and chickens. Also, local women are managing two small cornmeal mills and producing honey profitably
- Assistance in the proper construction and maintenance of latrines