Sister Christine Otai is the head nurse of the NICU at Kiwoko Hospital and in 2010 was honoured with the International Neonatal Award for Excellence at the 7th International Conference for Neonatal Nurses. Sister Christine has been at Kiwoko Hospital for more than 20 years, and Debbie, ISIS’ Clinical Practice Manager describes the incredible work that she has done during that time.

“I first met Christine in March 2000 when we began a journey to build the first official neonatal health programme at Kiwoko Hospital. There had never been formal paediatric training nor equipment and supplies to care for the neonatal population in Luwero. With the area stabilising after the war and the population growing once again, many babies were being born, with many at risk. At the time, little did I know the impact Christine would have on so many lives.

We began building the foundation of the programme and training all of the staff in the Neonatal Resuscitation Programme (NRP). Christine was one of the first people I had in my class. She put her all into this programme like she does with everything she touches, which is a testament to who she is. When we thought we might run a ‘modified’ version of NRP for the staff, Christine insisted that the staff be trained and tested as we would under the same standards used in the USA. She excelled in this programme and has since gone on to be one of the first instructors at Kiwoko Hospital and directly involved in the training of over 200 staff, many of which will have an impact on those first critical moments in an infant’s life.

The NICU was a new programme at Kiwoko and Christine took the unit, staff and most importantly the babies and their families under her wing. She rose quickly to the charge of head nurse of the NICU, a position she has held for over 10 years. It is Christine’s drive and compassion to push her staff to excel and never give up. She challenges her staff to be the best, to ask questions and keep learning. She holds every quality and more of what signifies a professional. Because of her great insight and dedication she is respected by all who work with her.”

Christine continues to work at the Kiwoko Hospital providing the highest quality of care to all the babies who enter the ward, which today, is approximately 1,000 babies. We are so thankful to have Sister Christine at Kiwoko Hospital and want to congratulate her on her latest achievement.

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