Two ladies, one of them pregnant, came to the HBM hospital one afternoon and were met by Dr. Tony Bishwas.
During the course of the consultation, one of women asked Dr. Tony to do an ultrasound so that they to find out the sex of the child. Dr. Tony shared with her that at the HBM hospital we would not do ultrasounds to find out the sex of the child as it is against our values as Christians – since every child is precious.
Most people want to know the gender of the unborn child so that they can abort it if it is a girl. The Lalitpur district has only 901 women to every 1000 men in the 2011 census, which shows that systematic sex selection and female foeticide has been rampant.
Having concluded their consultation with Dr. Tony, the two ladies left the HBM hospital. But they had scarcely stepped off the premises, when they returned – along with police and government authorities! It was a trap to catch unscrupulous doctors who would tell the gender of the unborn child for money – with the parents performing abortions if the child was a girl! But we passed with flying colours!
The authorities also asked Dr. Tony to show our ultrasound registers – which we were happy to do as the registers were kept up to date. We are glad that the HBM hospital was able to be a witness through passing such an ‘integrity test’ conducted by dummy patients to find out doctors who conduct female foeticide.
As we work together to improve the health profile of the Lalitpur district, we trust that the work of the HBM hospital will be further appreciated by the various government authorities. On a more sober note, we must see a social revolution to see families value girls as much as they do boys. We long for a day when there will be the same number of women in Lalitpur as men! That will only come when everyone treasures girls as being just as much God-created and valued as boys.
The HBM hospital is not only a place for the healing of the body and soul – it is also a place to see the great beauty of creation. And amidst the stately trees that adorn the compound we are blessed with various species of birds.
Will you come along with with us for a quick visit to our own biodiversity park in the middle of Lalitpur town?
We would like to introduce you to probably the largest bird to live on the HBM hospital campus: the Indian Grey Hornbill. We see these handsome birds fly in pairs or singly around the campus in the early morning or just before dusk.
The Indian Grey Hornbills need to be form pairs, because once the breeding season starts, the couple finds a hollow in a tree for their nest. If the hollow is small, they enlarge it and then the female enters in and is ‘enclosed’ using mud pellets and faeces. The birds leave only a small vertical gap open. The female then sheds her feathers and lays the eggs and hatches them in the nest.
The male Indian Grey Hornbill’s task is to keep bringing food. This he does faithfully, passing the food for his mate and the small ones through the small hole that was left in the nest. Eventually, when the chicks have grown large enough to take to the out-doors, the nest is broken by the parents and they fly free.
The female has in the mean-time grown her feathers back and is able to fly again and find her own food. All this while she was helpless inside the nest and dependent on the male’s hard work and careful hiding of her nest from other predators.
What an amazing picture of faithfulness and cooperation as parents. And a real lesson for us as well. The Bible says in one place: “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you” (Job 12.7). The Indian Grey Hornbill have much to teach human parents about loving faithfulness to each other and mutual help and cooperation.
So here is another picture of our dear teachers the Indian Grey Hornbill, taken on the HBM hospital campus.
Laxmi (name changed) is from a potter family and was married when she was 14. She lives in a village outside Lalitpur town is now 58 years old and has 2 grown children. A year ago Laxmi found a lump in her breast. She went to a local Baba/healer who told her not to worry as ”everything is OK.” Six months ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer at a govt hospital and went for treatment to Bhopal but did not start cancer treatment as no guarantee of cure was given. Looking for further cure she went to a doctor in Jhansi who did an ultrasound and told her that ‘there is nothing, you are fine.’
But Laxmi was not fine. The lump grew and became more painful.
In January Laxmi sought help from the HBM hospital and was admitted for a day. Here she came in touch with the Palliative Care team. However, she insisted that she wanted a cure for the cancer. On discharge, Laxmi went back to the Baba. He gave her some oil and guaranteed her that she would get better with it. Two months ago the tumour in her breast burst. Though Laxmi was in pain, she continued to refuse the HBM Palliative Team’s offers for help and instead continued to apply the oil believing it was curing her.
Finally last month the pain grew too much and she agreed to be cared for by our team. The palliative care team cleaned her putrid wound and taught her family how to dress it. They also started her on oral morphine which provided her with a great amount of relief.
Today Laxmi is so grateful for the loving care that she is receiving from the Palliative Care team – and our hope is that we can meet more people like Laxmi – and help them to access care earlier! Working with cancer is hard, especially as there are so many different opinions on what to do, and people often listen to what they believe is best for them.
Thanks to the patient follow-up and loving service of the Palliative Care team, Laxmi and her family today have received precious relief after having spent much on ‘treatments’ and suffering under the lies and deceptions of fraudulent ‘healers.’
The HBM hospital Palliative Care team is there to help. We want to reach out and work with people with life-limiting illnesses as early as possible. Do contact us if you know someone whom you feel needs palliative care.