The Philadelphia Hospital in Salur, Andhra Pradesh, India was started more than 100 years ago as a charitable mission hospital for Leprosy patients (in-patients and out-patient rehabilitation services). With the new multi-drug therapy being extremely effective in controlling and eradicating active disease, there has been a significant reduction in need of in-patient beds. We decided to assist this institution in expanding their medical services to include gastrointestinal endoscopy. The closest city to Salur is more than 100 miles away and with the expertise available at the hospital, it is now possible to provide these services locally.
In 2008, from July 22 to 26, a team of 3 medical volunteers and 5 non-medical volunteers from Houston, supported by World Missions Possible and other nonprofits, performed an Endoscopy camp and provided training to the local medical personnel. Four Olympus video endoscopes, monitor, video light source, processor and accessories (valued at $60,000) were donated to the institution. The nurses and medical assistants were trained in performing disinfection and cleaning of the endoscopes and assisting with the procedures. Strict infection control guidelines were used and implemented. A total of 40 patients underwent procedures during the camp. An endoscopy suite was formerly inaugurated and established.
One of the local physicians was trained and educated in performing these endoscopic procedures to make sure that these services would be continually offered to the patients. Olympus and Memorial Hermann Medical missions donated the equipment. After the procedures were performed, arrangements were made for outpatient follow-up at the Hospital clinic.
Future plans for a mission trip in the summer of 2010 is to organize an Endoscopy camp and also help establish the development of an emergency room. This would aid the hospital in the transformation from a leprosy hospital to a community hospital to better serve the people of this rural area. For more information on supporting or volunteering for this mission, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.