We, at Christian Hospital Mungeli, have had a very productive start to the New Year. Let us take you briefly into our small community made up of a Hospital, a Nursing school and a Primary/Secondary School operated by the Church of North India.
Today, India is the second most populated country in the world after China. In July 2016, India’s population stood at 1.3 billion and is projected to surpass that of China by 2022, reaching 1.7 billion by the year 2050. The Government has taken a lot of steps over the years to curb this growth rate of 1.19% but in spite of the many incentives offered, the rural people in India do not want to get sterilization done until they have had at least one son (if not two!), regardless of the number of daughters they already have. And of course it is the women who have to undergo the surgery! They are brought to the hospital by the husband or the village health worker in the morning, doctor check-ups and labs are over by noon and they are ready for surgery! After a day’s rest in the hospital, they are back home tending to their daily chores. Due to shortcomings of the government-run programs for sterilization, a massive number of women come to our hospital daily. We treat them as priority and since January, we have been doing 20-30 sterilizations per day, despite the fact that sometimes we run out of beds to keep them! As a medical community, we are happy that we can contribute towards curbing the growing population of a developing country and making healthcare within reach of the poor.
Today we are in the midst of constructing a new 3 story building for the maternal and child care division, comprising of ante-natal and post-natal wards, new ICUs and operating rooms. The aviary, which brings much joy and cheer to our patients and relatives, had to be shifted to make room for this new building, but our birds are happy to get a bigger and better home for themselves, not far from the old one!
A bright addition to our hospital has been our new state-of-the-art Mobile Clinic. Over the past 6 months, we have been sending it out to the neighboring villages to provide subsidized medical check-ups and treatments to those who are unable to come to the hospital. This ‘Big Red Bus’ was made possible by funding from USAID and has rooms for physical exam with ultrasound, a laboratory, a pharmacy, a procedure room which can take care of a normal delivery and a toilet. Apart from general medical work, the team also carries out screening for cervical and oral cancer for the patients. Our community drive by nursing students is also a big success. Here the nurses visit individual homes in a given village for a few weeks spreading awareness about the importance of good health and hygiene.
Our Baby Box program is in full swing where we have been giving out baby-boxes to our maternity patients who have had regular ante-natal check- ups in our hospital. These are crib-sized plastic boxes containing all the essential items that a new-born baby would need in the first few weeks of life. Not only are the boxes an incentive for ante-natal check-ups, they provide a separate bed for the baby, hence reducing the chances of SIDS (Crib deaths).
Over the past few months, we have been blessed with visits from friends and volunteers from across the globe, who come out to support us in our work. Individuals and groups from churches have been a blessing, forming a symbiotic relationship where there is a give and take of ideas and expertise. These volunteers come to the hospital as strangers, immerse themselves in our community and its activities, and go back as dear friends, sometimes to come back again and again! Those who were already our friends become even closer friends because of the shared experiences of the hospital and school communities. We also have students come to us from various colleges in the US and Denmark, who not only learn about medical practices in a mission hospital setting but also imbibe a lot from the culture and cuisine of this country.
‘Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.’ 1 Peter 4:10
Praise God! We humbly accept these gifts that glorify you, O Lord, especially during this period of Lent, as we remember your ultimate gift of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and his sacrifice. Amen.
Teresa works with the Synodical Board of Health Services of the Church of North India. Teresa serves as the anesthesiologist at the Christian Hospital in Mungeli, India. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Church’s Wider Mission, and your special gifts.