When Arthur and Ruth Morris moved to Madrapakkam, one of the first huts was the medical hut. It only took weeks of living in the village to discover how much disease was present in these villages: malaria, cholera, fevers, tuberculosis, pneumonia.
What they soon found out that the most common disease was leprosy. As Dr. Paul Brand, a pioneering surgeon with a vision to eradicate leprosy said: “You’ve got about 5% of the people having leprosy.” This turned out to be accurate, with leprosy among the poorest of the poor outcastes and high caste people equally.
The eradication of leprosy took 30 years. Christian Hospital grew into a large leprosy district hospital with 100 beds, an operating theatre and over 1,000 outpatients a week. Finally, by the end of the 1980’s, leprosy was declared largely eradicated, although patients with ulcers and new infections still come.
After eradicating leprosy, Christian Hospital was downsized to a “First Responder” clinic for the surrounding villages, a role it continues until today.
In 1997, Christian Hospital began the Drs. Tour, at the suggestion of a visiting orthopedic surgeon from Indianapolis. Over 1,000 people with hand, elbow, and shoulder trauma, plus burn injuries of all sorts, regained use of their hands, elbows and arms in 22 Tours through 2012.
The prayer request for the Medical Ministry is that current plans to open and operate a Super Specialty Clinic in Gummidipondi within the next 5 years will be granted by Jesus. The idea of the Super Specialty Clinic is to serve the underserved villages of Gummidipondi Taluk with a clinic able to diagnose and do early treatment of diseases through use of the latest technology in medical equipment.
This upgrade of Christian Hospital will have an on-site doctor and local nurses to provide care, just as the “Urgent Care” centers in the US do. The doctor in training was raised in the Childrens Homes and now is in her third year of medical college.