Kitovu Health Care Complex is located at Kitovu hill, within Masaka Municipality, which has a population of 79,200 people.
The distance to Masaka town is 4km, and it is 130 km to Kampala (approximately 3 hours drive), the capital of Uganda. Masaka district is home to 804,300 of the 30,000,000 people living in Uganda and lies immediately below the Equator. 89% of the population lives in rural areas.
Besides Masaka district, Kitovu receives patients from the boundary districts of Sembabule, Rakai, Kalangala and the southern part of Mpigi (about 1,500,000 people). The target population of the hospital is estimated to be about 300,000 people. However, concerning disease prevention and health promotion, a smaller catchment area has been defined in order to allow the program to work effectively and be easily evaluated. In terms of the population covered at a referral status, it shares responsibility with Masaka Regional Referral Government Hospital, located 4.5 km away (total of 330 beds).
Masaka district covers an area of about 4,560 sq km of which 30% is open water and swamps. The months March to May are considered as the season for long rains, while October, November and December are the months for short rains. In these times, peaks of incidences and prevalence of Malaria, the number one cause of ill health in the region, tend to follow the peaks of the rainy seasons.
The hospital is within an evergreen region with some rain forests and many rivers traversing the districts, as they descend towards the east to join the freshwater lakes – among those Lake Victoria , the second biggest inland lake in the world.
The main ethnic group is Baganda, with Luganda being the main spoken language, followed by English. The majority of the people are poor peasant farmers with small family incomes. Principal economic activities include animal husbandry, fishing, coffee and banana farming. A small percentage of the population is engaged in small-scale industries, trade or salaried employment. The cost of living is quite high, whereas income is steadily decreasing, thus many people have very little to spend on health.
The main causes of ill health are:
- Communicable infectious diseases, Malaria, respiratory tract infections including Pneumonia and TB, Diarrhoea, worm infestations and HIV/AIDS, which underlies many other diseases
- Complications of pregnancy and childbirth
- Malnutrition and diseases associated with poor water supply and poor environmental sanitation
- High blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and other diseases of the affluent society are increasing as more people are adapting to the western style of living.