Prem Jyoti Community Hospital
Preemie Survives Thanks to Waived Fees
Makku Soren was only 16 but she was already married and 8 months pregnant when she arrived at Prem Jyoti Community Hospital. Within minutes she delivered a premature 4 1/2 pound baby boy.
She and her 18-year-old husband were advised that it would be best to transfer to a more specialized medical facility, but they told the hospital staff that they struggled to have enough money to eat, let alone enough to pay for the baby's medical care. The father was ready to take both mother and baby home immediately, but the infant was completely dependent on oxygen and IV fluids. After much persuasion and assurance from Prem Jyoti staff regarding the waiving of all fees, he agreed to keep the baby at the hospital for treatment.
Prem Jyoti, like each EHA hospital, must carefully determine when patients are unable to pay for medical care, and it is only through generous donations and careful financial management that they are able to waive all or part of patients' fees. If you feel led to give toward needy patients' medical care, click here.
Meanwhile, the newborn struggled with the strength to suck well and he developed severe sepsis and jaundice. He was started on high-end antibiotics and phototherapy, and the caring staff monitored him closely. Every day, the baby's father came and asked to take the infant home, and every day the staff assured him that the baby was receiving critical care at no cost to him.
Slowly the baby gained enough strength to breastfeed, and his infection cleared up. By the time he was discharged for home, he was active and feeding well. The entire Prem Jyoti staff rejoiced that this little life was saved through their loving care and God's intervention through their prayers.
Paying 50% Interest No More!
For decades, the Malto tribal people living near Prem Jyoti Community Hospital have been under the bondage of Mahajans, or money lenders. They had never learned the practice of saving money or keeping a bank account.
So, when they had a major expense such as cultivating crops, educating or marrying their children, or getting medical treatment, the Maltos would approach these money lenders. The deal they would agree to was to pay 50% interest along with repaying the capital within 6 months, otherwise the interest rate went up even more. Needless to say, they rarely got out of debt.
Since the Malto tribes are typically led by women, the community project staff from Prem Jyoti decided to empower these ladies through self help groups. Each member of the group would save from 50 to 500 rupees ($1-$7) each month and put it in the common bank account. In times of financial need, they would take an internal loan from this account and pay it back with just 2% interest. This simple plan has broken the debt cycle of the Maltos, and all of the villages Prem Jyoti staff are working with in this way are now debt free.
In order to ensure the success of these self help groups, project staff closely monitor their activities at least twice a month, visiting their meetings, checking on the progress of their savings, encouraging internal loans, teaching leadership skills, and informing the group of government programs they can take advantage of. The difference that this community project has made in the lives of these tribal people is priceless, and the EHA staff are encouraged to take this plan to many more area villages.
Community Healthcare Builds Through Volunteers
For a rural hospital with patients from many outlying villages like Prem Jyoti, reaching out into the community with medical care is essential. To that end, they have developed the model of having community health volunteers who are trained to provide villagers with checkups, referrals, vitamins, home visits, and health education. Currently there are 63 volunteers serving in 68 different villages.
After extensive training by Prem Jyoti's community coordinator, the community health volunteers attend the mobile health clinic with their patients, attend monthly meetings, make house visits, and refer patients to the hospital. Each month, community coordinators meet with the volunteers to go over health concerns in their respective villages. Prem Jyoti's mobile health clinic operates in five different centers each month, providing general checkups, antenatal checkups, and immunizations. In an area with so many far-flung villages and patients with few means of transportation, having a mobile clinic like this is essential for the care of the people.
A Young Boy Survives...
Incredible Emergency Situation
The boy never saw it coming. During a Malto tribal festival, Ranbir was struck in the neck with an arrow. He and his family spent the next four hours journeying from hospital to hospital, with each one refusing him admittance.
Desperate for help, his family brought Ranbir to EHA's Prem Jyoti Community Hospital. At this point, he was in hemorrhagic shock and his hemoglobin was low. The staff quickly took an x-ray and determined that while the arrow was deeply embedded in his neck, it had miraculously missed all major blood vessels except the external jugular vein.
Prem Jyoti's staff prayerfully took Ranbir into the operating room and the arrow was successfully removed. Ranbir and his family were incredibly thankful at his recovery at the hands of the only medical team who was willing to care for such an injury. It is just such medical care carried out with love and compassion that makes EHA stand out.
At Prem Jyoti Community Hospital...
Just 24 More Hours
Seizures were afflicting six-year-old Shray, so his father brought him in to Prem Jyoti. The medical staff evaluated him, and Shray was diagnosed with cerebral malaria along with an acute kidney injury and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).
Gravely ill, Shray was immediately intubated and connected to a ventilator. Doctors began giving him with anti-malarial medication, lasix infusions, and other treatments. Shray's father soon lost hope and wanted to take him home to die peacefully. But each day, the hospital staff begged the man to give them 24 more hours because there were signs of improvement. Often these discussions turned into arguments. Praying fervently, the medical staff were hoping for a miracle. After one week of intensive care, God answered their prayers and Shray improved enough to go home happy and healthy. Shray's father was glad to learn more about the God who had healed his son.
After a Devastating Accident...
A Shattered Ear Is Repaired
All it took was a few minutes, and everything changed. One minute Bhavin was driving along in his vehicle, and the next he was being flung around by violent forces as another car crashed into his. The result of this severe car accident was that Bhavin's right ear was dangling, barely attached to his head. He was brought into
Prem Jyoti with multiple injuries to his face and head.
The Prem Jyoti staff stabilized Bhavin and took him into the operating room. They were able to remove all of the foreign objects from his wound and to reconstruct his ear completely. The multiple lacerations on his face were repaired. And all of this was accomplished in fairly rustic operating conditions with little of the equipment that a US plastic surgeon would have access to. EHA staff work with what they have, and they often achieve miracles with God's help.
At Prem Jyoti Community Hospital...
Community Receives Life-Sustaining Provisions
The Malto tribals of northeastern Jharkhand are a particularly vulnerable group with a diminishing population, a pre-agricultural level of technology, and a very low level of literacy. It was to address the health needs of this group that Prem Jyoti Hospital was founded in 1996 via a unique partnership between EHA, the Friends Missionary Prayer Band (FMPB), and the Evangelical Fellowship of India Commission on Relief (EFICOR). Since that time, the hospital staff have branched out beyond medical care to address holistic transformation in the community. This includes advocating for the benefits provided by the government that tribals are often unaware of or unsure how to obtain.
In India, it seems almost everyone in a position to do so takes bribes. In the village of Thalmigodda, some of the households didn't have a ration card and therefore could not get the monthly provision of 35 kg of rice to help sustain their family members. They went to the Prem Jyoti Community Development Facilitators (CDFs) Silas and Sumitra for help. Silas spent his own money to go to an internet shop in town to download the entire village list of those considered to be Below Poverty Line. He was shocked to see 75 names on the list when only 60 were receiving the rice benefit. It turns out that the village leader and the dealers were pocketing the extra provisions and making a huge profit.
|Rice recipients in the village of Thalmigodda
Understandably, the people of the village were furious, and they called for an inquiry with the village leader and the five dealers. These men tried offering Silas a bribe, but he was determined to be upright in his dealings and refused. Having no choice, the leader and the dealers agreed to provide supplies for everyone on the list. So thanks to Prem Jyoti's CDFs, fifteen more families are receiving needed rice rations. This food supply can mean the difference between life and death for these tribal peoples.
Through Faithful Care...
Tiny Newborn Given a Chance at Life
Dr. Isac David and his wife, Dr. Vijila Isac, have served faithfully at Prem Jyoti since its inception almost 20 years ago. They have seen much progress from when they began... lives have been saved, programs have been run, infrastructure has been developed, systems are in place, and credibility with the government has been built up.
But the best part of the process is not what they have achieved, but what God has done through them and their dedicated team. He has led them through tough and lonely paths, times of brokenness, feelings of failure... only to discover anew that He was always there, loving them despite their mistakes. They have experienced Him in unexpected places -- even in the operating room and the labor and delivery department.
Recently, a woman named Pushpa Devi began to struggle with her first pregnancy. In her eighth month, she began bleeding heavily. She came to Prem Jyoti for treatment, and the ultrasound showed she had placenta previa, a condition in which the patient needs an emergency caesarian section to save her life. Since Pushpa's blood pressure was already low, she couldn't have a spinal anesthesia, so they used the alternative intravenous short-acting sedative, Ketamine. Although Pushpa lost even more blood during surgery, Prem Jyoti doctors delivered a tiny preemie who was just over three pounds. It took the baby five minutes to cry, but he finally did, and was placed in a Newborn Stabilization Unit.
|Pushpa's newborn son
Since Prem Jyoti is located in an area with intermittent electrical service, they cannot use incubators or ventilators, but they do have battery-operated units that provide phototherapy for newborns and warmers that keep the babies' temperatures consistent. Pushpa's baby has made it through his critical first week, and Pushpa has stabilized and is moving around freely. She is incredibly thankful for the care she and her newborn received at the hands of these dedicated EHA doctors and nurses.
Prem Jyoti Community Hospital Helps Others to...
Improve Villagers Quality of Life
Often they don't even know what they're missing.
They live hand-to-mouth, just trying to get through each day, without even a clean water source. They literally live in survival mode. In the remote villages of
New village water pump
Jharkhand in northern India, these Malto tribal villagers
battle preventable infectious diseases, live with no electricity, and suffer from high infant and mother mortality rates.
Prem Jyoti Community Hospital has begun a number of Community-Based Organizations in 40 villages to address these concerns. When they came to Bedotigra, a mountaintop village, the team members began to train the villagers, helping them to understand that changes must start with them. Water was a scarcity and they were collecting it from a distant source. A year before this, a bore well near the village had been partially completed, so the team helped these villagers fight for their right of access to clean water. They filed an application with the proper authorities, which was the first time they had ever combined efforts to have this need addressed. Before long, the hand pump fittings and pipes were brought in and installed. These villagers have learned an important lesson -- they can bring changes to their village by working together and speaking up.
They are beginning to take on tasks like advocating for electricity (successful in three villages so far) and making their village schools functional. The next topic that will be addressed by the CBO teams is health issues -- especially mother and child health -- and what initiatives they could take up to prevent them.
Through Great Perseverance...
Mariyam Nirmala Becomes the First Malto Tribal GNM Nurse
She came from a poor farming family in the village of Kusumghati. Unable to afford the cost of her studies, her father turned to missionaries he knew and sent her to the Jayraj Memorial Girls Home where she completed her studies through Class (grade) 12. After finishing these exams, Mariyam came to Prem Jyoti Community Hospital as a pre-nursing student and learned basic nursing procedures. One day, God touched her heart when she was helping the nurses in the labor room. A pregnant Malto woman from Mariyam's village came to the hospital in serious condition and eventually died. This incident changed her thinking, and she decided to serve her community by becoming a nurse.
She was accepted into EHA's Duncan Hospital's School of Nursing located in Raxaul in northwest Bihar and worked hard to achieve her goal of becoming a nurse. She faced many obstacles, including learning English, but strengthened herself through prayer. Eventually, Mariyam accomplished her goal and received her General Nurse Midwife diploma. She has returned to Prem Jyoti and is serving her community by sharing the love and light of God with them. Her faith and commitment to serve others are inspiring other Malto girls to follow her example.
Prem Jyoti Hospital, located in the northeastern area of Jarkhand, serves 172 villages of the Malto people. The Maltos are a significantly underserved tribal group. In an effort to reach out, the hospital provides a wide range of services. EHA has trained community health volunteers in every village. These individuals are trained to provide basic instruction in health behavior.
The hospital also offers deliveries for needy Malto women at a rate of 100 rupees (about $3). This has encouraged more women to come to the hospital to have their babies, resulting in additional opportunities for training new mothers in well baby care and nutrition.
Persistent ministry among the Maltos has led to real results: more then 60 percent of the full time staff at the hospital are Maltos, a significant change since the project was launched in 1996. The work with the Malto people was featured in EHA’s overview DVD, available on request. Contact EHA USA to obtain a copy.
Prem Jyoti accomplishes its work through a network of community health volunteers, peripheral clinics, and a hospital. Emphasis is given on training and empowering the community to tackle health problems. The Prem Jyoti project was started as a unique partnership between three major Indian mission agencies: the FMPB, EFICOR, and EHA. The service priorities of the hospital are fighting endemic diseases like Malaria and Kala Azar through health awareness and medical care through the primary health centers, immunization, reproductive and child health, mini health centers, and training community volunteers.
About Prem Jyoti Hospital
Prem Jyoti Community Hospital is a community of God-centered individuals who reach out to the poor and marginalized, especially the Malto tribals of Jharkhand. The ministry began in December, 1996, as a unique partnership between three major Indian mission agencies: the FMPB, EFICOR, and EHA.
Today, the hospital’s goals include providing quality, accessible, and compassionate health care, as well as empowering communities to take care of their own health and development needs. They strive to develop local leadership and expertise while serving as a model to challenge others, so that these communities can develop to their fullest potential.
Focusing on the Malto’s health needs, they work through a network of community health volunteers, peripheral clinics, and the hospital itself. They emphasize training and empowering the community to tackle their own health problems. One of the areas they focus on is infectious diseases, such as malaria, TB, and kala-azar. To this end, they work with the government to spray DDT in Malto villages and distribute mosquito nets. They are also the Designated Microscopy Center for the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program. Another program allows patients suffering from kala-azar to be treated free of charge.
Conducting school health programs allows them to teach young people better health awareness and care. They also teach Vacation Bible School to hundreds of Malto children each year.
Desiring to strengthen their teams spiritually, the staff fast weekly, pray together, and study the Word. In order to witness to those who walk through their door, they pray, share with, and counsel the patients and their families. During outpatient department days, they play movies and songs with a message for the patients waiting for treatment.
Through all of these programs and services, Prem Jyoti reaches out to the community with the love of God, offering not only physical healing, but also true spiritual healing through this message of hope.