C.U.R.E. Clinics: Delivering Health and Hope to India
In early January, another awesome C.U.R.E. Clinics team headed out to help the residents and patients of an underserved community, this time in Nagercoil, India. Many of the nine medical volunteers from the U.S. had been to Nagercoil on an initial clinic trip in December of 2012 and were so impressed by the need and excellent work of Holy Cross Hospital there that they wanted to return to serve the community again. The previous trip had revealed an incredibly high prevalence of Type II diabetes in the population, but many of those suffering from it were unaware they had it or didn’t understand well enough how to manage it. The team returned with the primary purpose of screening as many of the residents around Nagercoil as possible, educate them about the disease and train local nurses.
Holy Cross Hospital is led by Sister Atmaja and a team of skilled nurses who offer healthcare services to the poor regardless of religion or caste. They also travel to the villages nearby to provide primary care to the many families who earn a subsistence living fishing and farming. The C.U.R.E. Clinics team worked closely with Holy Cross to organize a series of eight rural health camps this time around to do general medical examinations, look after pediatric cases and carry out blood glucose testing.
At each camp site, the team was welcomed with a ceremony including thank-you speeches, traditional Indian dancing, flower bouquets and even a parade! Over the course of ten days, the busy Clinics volunteers and nurses from Holy Cross saw 2,700 patients of all ages. In addition to screening for diabetes, the team was able to diagnose many other conditions on site with an actual laboratory set up, the first of its kind at Holy Cross’ rural clinics. They also had a complete formulary, which allowed them to immediately dispense medications for treatment.
The team donated eight C.U.R.E. Kits and several sets of medical instruments as well as a battery-powered nebulizer with adult and pediatric masks and a projector for educational presentations to local residents and patients. Sister Atmaja wrote, “You have touched 2,700 underserved people in Southern India, not only those patients, but also those associated with them, people of the camps…all were touched by your care. I too am hoping to continue…to work with you to care for many people.”
Our next team is off to Nicaragua tomorrow. You can support our C.U.R.E. Clinics program by making a donation that will help us purchase vitamins, medications, neonatal resuscitation devices and other medical supplies for upcoming clinic trips. Or, learn more about C.U.R.E. Clinics and PhilanthroTravel and go on a trip that will change your life and will deliver health and hope to many others.