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Paul Thistle

My Story

Dr. Paul Thistle received his Medical Degree and Fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynecology from the University of Toronto. From 1995 until 2012 he had served at the Salvation Army Howard Hospital in rural Zimbabwe, as Chief Medical Officer since 1999. He is Honorary Lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, and Scientific and Affiliate Staff at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. Paul’s clinical interests include Maternal Child Health, AIDS prevention, treatment and care, cancer screening and family planning.

In 2008, Paul 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.

Paul and Pedrinah are ordained ministers. In December 2012, the Thistles re-located to Karanda Mission Hospital as volunteers and have subsequently been appointed to TEAM. They have been providing medical, social and spiritual care to undeserved areas of Zimbabwe for 18 plus years. 75,000 people seek assistance each year at Karanda, many more served by the community outreach programs. There is satisfaction in the daily tasks of their ministry: a mother saved in childbirth, a malnourished infant restored to health, an adult living with HIV counseled on healthy living. There is always hope, amid the most difficult circumstances. Joy does find a way.

The Thistles have three sons, James (15 years), Alexander (11 years) and Andrew (1 years). James and Alexander are teaching Andrew how to read, write and watch out for snakes and scorpions in the backyard!


wife Pedrinah, sons James, Alexander, and Andrew

Ministry Focus:

Holistic (medical, social and spiritual care) to under served people in Zimbabwe : Education, Health and Hope

The People:

Karanda is a 150 bed mission hospital in the Mount Darwin district hospital of northern Zimbabwe serving 220,000 people.mostly subsistence farmers. We have a nursing school, training midwifes and general nurses. We see over 75,000 patients a year. Karanda opened in 1961 to help meet the need of the mission stations with clinics spread across the Zambezi Valley. We began churches and soon saw the need for health care.

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.

Primary Prayer Request:

Spiritual and physical health and well being for the people of Mount Darwin district

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