Monday, August 7, 2017

Quackery . . .

Since our tryst with Palamu region for more than a decade, babies such as the one above are not uncommon. We’ve had many such babies brought to NJH during our stint there. However, with the government taking a pro-active approach to treatment of extreme malnutrition, our workload on such babies have come down to quite a large extent.

This baby girl, whose birth date is not known came to us today. Regarding her age, the parents are only sure that she is more than 2 months old. They had already received a referral letter to the Malnutrition Treatment Centre at Sadar Hospital, Latehar. Unfortunately, they just don’t want to take the baby there.

The reason I posted the snap of this child is to let the world know of how quacks and charlatans in rural India con poor people. I hope you can clearly see the reddish dye put on the scalp of this baby. The treatment given by some quack is for ‘khaparphod’ - which means broken head/skull. ‘Khaparphod’ is the local terminology for the open anterior fontanelle which as we all know is a normal feature of infants which close by about a years age.

The quack has told them that all of the child’s problems is because of the open anterior fontanelle. And they had been taking treatment for that from the said quack since the last one month. I spent close to half an hour convincing the family that this is a normal anatomical feature in a newborn.

It’s close to 6 hours since the baby was ‘admitted’ at our place. Meanwhile we also realised that the child was in sepsis. I can only pray that she gets better soon and puts on some flesh over her bones.

I hope it is also significant to mention that this is the family’s seventh child and three of those died before they turned started to walk. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Untold misery

This is Kunti Kumari. Elder of three girls who lost their father to Naxalite violence. We don’t know the details.

Kunti was brought to us few days back in a confused state by her uncle. Considering that she was having fever since two days and she was from our ‘malaria endemic’ zone, there were no guesses to arrive at a provisional diagnosis. Laboratory report confirmed the diagnosis. Mixed malaria infection with features of impeding complications.

She responded well to treatment. Considering the rush of patients that we had been having, we missed the tragedy that befell the family. We did not know that Kunti had lost her younger sister to high grade fever just the previous day.

It was one of our nurse aides who told us about the sad story. Kunti's younger sister was having fever since few days and was being managed by a quack in the village. She had suddenly become unconscious and died the same morning when Kunti was brought to us. 

The last ten days we saw more than 25 patients with malaria. Except 2, all of them had mixed infections. We were ill equiped to manage four patients whom we had to refer to Ranchi. Two of them have renal failure and are still on dialysis. One little child has unexplained hemolysis needing repeated transfusions. One little boy of twelve years died within one day of admission to our nearest teaching hospital.

From the nearby villages, we’ve heard about 5 deaths so far. No one has been proved to have had malaria. They had high grade fever for couple of days which was managed by the local quack. And they just died.

The interesting thing this year is the total absence of the coverage of malaria deaths and high incidence in the local media, leave alone at the state and national level.

How long shall we cover up the truth? The truth of an India which is still grappling with preventable diseases like malaria and the unnecessary deaths . . . 

PS: Consent was taken from Kunti and her guardians to put her story and snap in public

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Monsoon arrives in Barwadih

Monsoon rains have always been welcome relief. It's a photographer's delight. Whether it was NJH or Kachhwa, there were quite a many snaps.

In Barwadih, we had been quite busy. Still, got the time to take few snaps of the rains.

We thank the Lord for the rains. I hope the water table improves.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Perungalam 2017

These are snaps of our visit this year, Summer 2017. Though we were well prepared to do fishing, we did not catch any fish this year. And we took lesser snaps than last year. So, few snaps shared by the previous director, Rev. Mathews of the Retreat Centre is included (the first four).

This time we missed the boat and had to hire a local speed boat. I hope you noticed the Jharkhand origin jhola in the boat. 

That's the boat we arrived in . . . 

The boat arriving for our return journey . . .

Friday, June 30, 2017


Jharkhand has many beautiful places to visit. Netarhat is the highest point in the state. I've never visited the place, though I visit a village quite near once a month.

Today, an acquaintance send me few snaps of the place. He gave me permission to post it in my blog.

By the way, Netarhat is not more than 100 kilometres from our home in Barwadih. Along with other places worth visiting near by, Netarhat is a must visit place.