Almost two million people live in more than 300 villages in the Greater Navapur area and surrounding districts. Tragically, the vast majority of these people belong to the poorest classes of society and as such are often considered to be lower than animals. In a country where up to 40% of the population live below the poverty line, physical needs are tremendous - in fact, they are beyond description. Medical services, that we take for granted, such as acute care, emergency medicine, pediatric services and labour and delivery are basically non-existent. They have had no access to decent medical facilities. Until now!
In 2011, Grace Hospital opened its doors to provide care for those in the Nandurbar District of Maharastra, 333 kilometers north of Mumbai. The hospital was established as part of the ongoing work of the Native Missionary Movement in this area. The goal of the hospital is to provide free health care to those who would otherwise go without help for lack of money. We want to be the hands and feet of Jesus and show His love in a meaningful way through competent and compassionate care without distinction of class.
Health care work in this area is a challenge to say the least and presents complexities that are not often encountered in most regions of the world. Money and time are in scarce supply among the villagers that we are working with. Most villagers cannot afford the cost of travel to the hospital nor can they afford to be away from their farms and jobs long enough to get help. As a result, a lot of our work involves outreach to the surrounding villages on a regular basis to address their health care where they live. Through 2012 to the end of 2013, we conducted over 50 outreach camps treating over 5,500 people in the communities where they live. From this number several were transferred to the hospital with serious concerns that needed further treatment. The outreach work is carried out by our native hospital staff using vehicles donated by Canadian churches.
Presently the hospital is prepared, in regards to space, for up to 50 patients. Due to a lack of funds, that level of use is yet to be obtained. With our present staff and resources we are equipped for and have been handling labour and delivery, minor surgical cases, on-site pharmacy, and outpatient clinics. We are blessed with a well-equipped lab and can do simple tests on site. We also have an x-ray facility which at this time is still film based and requires the images to be processed in a dark room. As more funding comes available, we will be able to expand our lab capability, digitalize our x-ray and hire more staff. Our long term goals include more foreign surgical camps, dental care, a blood bank and branch offices in surrounding cities.