Chinchpada Christian Hospital
Thanks to vaccinations, the West has virtually eradicated the scourge of tetanus. But due to a lack of resources and accessibility, thousands of Indians remain unvaccinated. At Chinchpada Christian Hospital in rural Maharashtra, many residents remain unprotected from tetanus. Aarav was one such patient. A laborer in the nearby city of Surat, he was brought to Chinchpada after being turned away by several government hospitals. Aarav’s severe malnutrition, alcohol withdrawal, and a festering wound on his big toe provided a challenge for Drs. Deepak and Anita Singh.
Dr. Deepak shared his frustration as he considered the situation, “Why in this day and age of technological advancement do we still have a young man with severe tetanus? Why had no one given him a tetanus injection that cost only three cents?” Dr. Deepak also lamented the affects of alcohol abuse and illiteracy on this man’s family. “What kind of a future can his children look forward to? How long will the people in our land continue to live in such depravity?”
Determined to do all that they could to help Aarav, the hospital staff began working to save his life. Once they received the proper medicine from nearby Surat, they began operating on his gangrenous toe. From conducting a tracheostomy to managing regular spasms during his procedure, the work done on Aarav was dangerous. With his parents anxiously awaiting news, the hospital staff were gracious and kind, sharing updates on his condition often.
After a full month of care at Chinchpada Christian Hospital, Aarav was able to walk and was released. He and his family rejoiced at the wonderful care they had received and the love of God they had been shown in their time on the hospital grounds. Because of Drs. Deepak and Anita Singh and their team’s generosity, Aarav was nursed back to health.
Changes at Chinchpada Christian Hospital
God has brought big changes to Chinchpada Christian Hospital since Drs. Deepak and Ashita Singh were sent to revitalize this EHA location in October of 2014. The outpatient department sees between 50 and 70 patients daily. Their ICU is well utilized—and they had to expand from 4 beds to 7 to keep up with demand. Chinchpada’s surgeons are kept busy, especially with endourologic and laparoscopic work. The Palliative Care Team is ministering to between 125 and 150 terminally ill patients at their homes, providing pain relief and end-of-life care.
Chinchpada Christian Hospital now boasts 6 doctors, 17 nurses, 2 lab technicians, 3 pharmacists, and a number of support staff, bringing the total staff strength to 54. The whole team is thrilled to be using all of the equipment and supplies that EHA USA was able to send in the shipping container filled by Samaritan’s Purse. And all of this at a location that had been on the brink of closure!
One story of their impact revolves around a man from a nearby village. Bikram was brought into Chinchpada with cardiogenic shock after a heart attack. He was disoriented, had unmeasurably low blood pressure, and had a very low heart rate. After being admitted to the ICU and medicated, his shock gradually resolved and his heart rhythm normalized. Bikram still needed oxygen for five more days, so as he recuperated, the staff began to share about the love of God with him and his family. They told him that they believed God had brought him to their hospital with an eternal purpose. After listening to them tell of God’s redeeming grace, Bikram gratefully accepted their prayer and invitation to join His family.
Joy in Spite of Sickness
She was only 18, but Mangala was already mother to a 10-month old baby. When she arrived at Chinchpada Christian Hospital, she had been suffering from a fever and breathlessness for several days. Diagnosed with sickle cell disease, Mangala was seriously anemic, hypoxic, and jaundiced, with a white blood cell count escalating above 60,000 (5,000-10,000 is the normal range).
She spent ten days in Chinchpada’s ICU with staff keeping a close eye on her 24/7. Slowly Mangala began to improve, with her white blood cell counts coming down, her hypoxia resolving, and her temperature settling back to normal. Every time the staff tended her, they received a beaming smile from behind her oxygen mask—even through her worst pain. She joined in and gladly welcomed their prayers for God’s healing touch, especially when her fever of 103 persisted even on day seven. Mangala and her family gave the Chinchpada staff their complete trust, never doubting that they were doing their very best. Her family left no stone unturned in bringing in the many units of blood that she required, even though they had to borrow money to do so. Everyone rejoiced when she left the hospital for home, her beautiful parting smile a reminder of God’s healing and grace.
Joy in Trying out New Equipment and Supplies
The blessings and benefits of the contents of the trans-oceanic shipping container received at Chinchpada are appreciated anew each day, as their staff continue to use each item. This equipment is of incredible value practically, and is worth as much as $150,000 or more monetarily. The most expensive items include anesthesia machines, an infant incubator and ventilator, fetal monitors, infusion pumps, vital sign monitors, laryngoscopes, an endoscope, wheelchairs, walkers, and an oxygen concentrator.
At US hospitals we simply take for granted something as simple as adequate lighting for surgery. But when Dr. Deepak Singh tried out the medical headlamp pictured above, he was thrilled not to struggle with illumination of difficult areas of the abdomen during a six-hour surgery.
The operating room staff have been delighted to try out new and colorful scrubs. And Dr. Ashita Singh is shown at left, hard at work with their new microscope. We are so thankful to EHA’s generous donors and Samaritan’s Purse and World Medical Mission for making possible the sending of this container filled with gently used medical equipment and brand new supplies. We hope to send another container to some of EHA’s other hospitals soon.
The Container Has Arrived!
Thanks to the hard work and initiative of Samaritan’s Purse and World Medical Mission, the large shipping container from Supreme Task filled with gently used medical equipment and brand new supplies has arrived at Chinchpada Christian Hospital. The staff have been overjoyed as they unpack the many items and set them up for use.
Each piece of medical equipment was carefully gone over by a bio-technical engineer before shipping to ensure that it worked properly and was compatible for India. Every electrical item was sent with an individual step-down transformer so that it would work with the Indian electrical system. The materials were carefully packed and are quite extensive.
Some of the more significant pieces of equipment include an anesthesia work station, an endoscope, a microscope, an infusion pump, and several patient monitors. On the other hand, the gift of crutches for this handicapped man was a priceless gift—previously, he used a stick to get around. There are so many things we take for granted regarding our medical care here in the US. Each and every piece of equipment, furniture, medical clothing, and medical supplies fills a huge need in Chinchpada, especially since the hospital was closed for a time and is now building their practice back up. There isn’t anything they don’t need. We want to thank the generous donors who gave to send this shipping container, and the faithful prayer warriors who prayed it through its journey and through customs.
Working Without Needed Medication
Facing the extra challenge of caring for patients without the needed medication and equipment is something the doctors at Chinchpada Christian Hospital do every day. Chinchpada was recently reopened after a year-long closure, and they desperately need funds to purchase a supply of many medications as well as a number of pieces of equipment.
Ashabai is a 50-year-old grandmother who came to Chinchpada struggling with congestive cardiac failure and with swelling all over her body. She was also struggling to breathe, and her oxygen saturation was at 70% (normal is over 95%). What she really needed was to be hooked up to a ventilator to help her breathing and decongest her lungs, but Chinchpada doesn’t have one.
Instead, Ashabai was started on medication and slowly began to improve. The following morning her heart rate spiked to 180 beats per minute. Dr. Ashita wanted to give her a specific medication to help this condition, but Chinchpada didn’t have any in stock. When told this information, Ashabai said she would pray. As she prayed a prayer of thanksgiving and faith, her heart rate dropped to 140, and eventually came down to 80. The staff was thrilled that God could work despite a lack of medicine, equipment, or personal expertise.
Surgical Success Against the Odds
Struggling to care for patients without the needed equipment is something the doctors at Chinchpada Christian Hospital do every day. Chinchpada was recently reopened after a year-long closure, and they desperately need everything from ventilators to ultrasound machines.
Recently one-year-old Nabil was brought in to the hospital by his worried parents. He had aspirated an apple seed and it was lodged in his windpipe. A preliminary exam with an x-ray showed that the seed needed to be removed with a bronchoscope or he would not live much longer.
But Chinchpada does not yet have a bronchoscope, so the surgeon encouraged the parents to take Nabil to a center better equipped to handle such emergencies. Unfortunately, the nearest facility was over 60 miles away, and they had no way to get there. The hospital staff called several centers to locate a specialist who had the equipment and the skill needed, but because it was a holiday, no one was available.
In desperation, they prayed and sought guidance from God. They spoke again to one of the specialists and asked to borrow his equipment. Even though this doctor had never met them, he agreed. A friend of the family drove three hours by motorcycle to bring the equipment to Chinchpada. They began the procedure with much trepidation and prayer, but it was successful and the seed was removed. The child recovered fully and went home on the third day.
New Staff Quarters Completed
Chichpada Christian Hospital is thrilled that the rebuilding and renovation work that has been ongoing for the past two years is now complete. They have brand-new staff quarters as well as several renovated facilities. The hospital was re-dedicated on October 12 with leaders, local church pastors, local community members, well-wishers, and former staff attending.
Healing and Hope Received
Dilip was from Dapur, a nearby village. Suffering from a cough for over a year, he had sought treatment elsewhere but saw no improvement. He heard about CCH and sought help there as his last hope. He had severe abdominal pain, a low pulse, and restlessness. Doctors operated on his abdomen, found evidence of TB, and anti-TB medication was administered. Dilip now believes in God, and on the day of his surgery, a full-day prayer meeting was held. Dilip recovered quickly and went home with renewed hope and trust, both in God and in the ministry of Chinchpada Christian Hospital.
Practical and Medical Needs Met
He just wanted to go to school. Fourteen-year-old Vihaan’s parents didn’t have the money to buy him a uniform, shoes, and school supplies, so he decided to work at a roadside sugarcane crushing machine over the summer. Then disaster struck. While pushing the sugarcane through the machine, Vihaan’s middle finger got caught between the rollers and was crushed. His friends and coworkers rushed him to Chinchpada Christian Hospital to see what could be done. The doctors relieved Vihaan’s pain and inserted a pin through the bones to help them to heal.
His father arrived and anxiously explained that he had no money to pay the medical bill, but the staff assured him they would continue to treat his son at no charge. Vihaan began crying upon discharge because he realized that he could no longer work at his job, and his hopes of going to school were dashed. The Medical Superintendent went to the boy’s village and spoke to a friend of his who owned a grocery store. Immediately the owner offered Vihaan a job at his store so that he could pay for his school supplies after all. This kind of care for one individual demonstrates the level of effort EHA staff are willing to go to in order to help others.
Funds Needed for Operating Expenses
Over the years, different EHA hospitals have struggled to make ends meet. When most of your patients live in abject poverty, it is difficult to bring in enough income from patient fees to operate a hospital and pay the staff. About a year ago, Chinchpada Christian Hospital in Maharashtra had to close due to financial difficulties.
EHA leadership carefully considered whether or not to continue to pour resources into this struggling location, and all indications came back that it was worth it. Residents in the district surrounding the hospital have few options for medical care. If the Chinchpada unit closed, the often under-staffed and poorly funded government facilities would be the only option. These clinics are few and far between and would be insufficient to address the healthcare needs for the surrounding area.
Recently, Drs. Deepak and Ashita Singh agreed to take on the hospital ministry and do their best to bring it back to life. Supporters in the UK invested in rehabbing the staff quarters and other hospital buildings, but the equipment on hand is minimal. The only reason they have a monitor and a defibrillator is because the father of a friend of Ashita’s was closing his practice, so he gave those machines to her. They have no ventilator and so they have to manually “bag” patients who cannot breathe well on their own.
Drs. Deepak and Ashita both felt strongly that they needed to reduce patient fees despite the fact that they needed a regular supply of income from those fees to be viable. So they have to carefully weigh the quality of care vs. the cost because so many of their patients are below the poverty level. They are always short on supplies and can’t keep a sufficient inventory of various medicines because of the cost — but they grieve because they have lost patients because of it.
About Chinchpada Christian Hospital
Located in Maharashtra, Chinchpada Christian Hospital provides healthcare to the predominantly tribal population in the surrounding villages. Established in 1942, the hospital started out as a small clinic. Later it grew to a 15-bed hospital, and then was incorporated with EHA in 1974. Currently, it has 50 beds and attracts referred patients for surgeries and maternity services. The service priorities of the hospital include general medicine, pediatric care, orthopedic services, and obstetrics and gynecology. Serving the villages of Navapur Taluka as well as villages of the west part of Sakri Taluka, the hospital strives to serve the poor and marginalized regardless of caste or religion. They seek to provide both clinical services and spiritual ministry in the name of God, so as to make Him known in word and deed.
In order to develop a good rapport with the surrounding churches, local church leaders are occasionally involved in hospital meetings. Hospital staff hold heath awareness meetings with village pastors and leaders so that they become familiar with symptoms of common diseases and can encourage villagers to go to the hospital when needed. These local leaders also help to identify poor families so that their needs can be met by the hospital.
The hospital conducts outreach clinics in surrounding villages to care for villagers’ healthcare needs. They started research on sickle cell disease by mapping cases in Navapur Taluka.