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Building Up the Health of the People

Posted by Spalding Hurst

December 23, 2013

Thirty-five SCNs gathered in Mokama to reflect upon the vision, mission and goal of the health ministry on Dec. 14–15. They emphasized building up the health of the people rather than only giving out medicines to cure the sick.
Father Christudas, the resource person gave inputs on the Clinical Establishment Act, (CEA) 2012. He encouraged the Sisters to register the health centres under the CEA as a group both in Jharkhand and Bihar. He also informed that the Christian Medical Association of India and other big Christian Health NGOs in the country are trying to influence the government health officials to exempt from the preview of CEA the small health centres. Under this Act, a doctor must be present round the clock at every health centre. 
Giving emphasis to systemic change across all our ministries, the group affirmed that each place has one common mission. With one vision, everyone can work towards accomplishing that one common mission. It is suggested that social and health ministry personnel get acquainted with each other’s work and wherever possible incorporate both ministries into one. It is also encouraged to update themselves with short-term courses. 
The evaluation report was presented from all nine health centers. Again spot evaluation will be conducted at few health centres to determine the viability of the ministry. From the reports it was clear that the people appreciated our services. At everyplace, without exception, people said that the compassionate care that we give, no one else will give them. People are also using herbal and other alternative systems of medicines. 
There is also a trend that the sick people return to us to get the medical attention that they need after going around to other hospitals. The patients say that they can trust us knowing that they are in safe hands. 
Health centres presented the annual reports by highlighting their success stories. The PLT and the Board members were also present for the meeting. 
Saheli Self Help Group from Community Health Centre, Bakthiarpur
Saheli group is in Ragopur village near the low lying railway track. The dirty drain water of the market flowed through their land and their mud huts used to collapse time and again. Once they formed the group, they found that this is one of their major problems. The people were constantly sick. The group was motivated to take action to stop the flow of dirty water through their land in order to free themselves from sickness and to save money from not rebuilding their mud huts quite often. The women closed the drainage from the entry point to their land and the water began to flow through the land of the Rajputs, the upper castes. After the verbal abuses, the Rajputs filed a first information report against the women at the local police station. When the policemen came for the spot investigation, the case was in favour of the women. The case was then referred to the Block Development Officer, (BDO). 
Without relenting, the women approached the BDO. Both the BDO and the Circle Officer after having seen the situation made a provision to divert the water to the Ganges through pipes. The women were happy with the outcome and were encouraged to solve other local problems.
This group was also privileged to teach their candle making skills to the HIV positive women at Nazareth Hospital, Mokama. They were proud to be recognized as trainers. The women make candles as per the need, season, festivals and get a rather good income to support their families.
Through the services of the Health Centre and outreach prgrams, we are committed to care for women and children. Our gentle and compassionate services are well appreciated. We still need to explore possibilities for innovative and need-based programs to involve the society at large to bring about a social transformation. We would like to create a society where each one would be proud to be a citizen of India, living in peace, getting their due rights, good education and financially sound. 

Written by Lilly Thomas, SCN


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