About The Mission
Nearly a decade ago, MMFC established a relationship with the Kalapurnam General Hospital after meeting its director, Dr. Kanti Jain. Since establishing a cleft lip and palate clinic, MMFC teams have returned to the hospital every year and sometimes twice in a year. To learn more about the extraodinary efforts and life of the hospital’s director Dr. Kanti, please read the featured magazine article below from the February 4, 2007 edition of The Week that highlights her valiant dream of helping the poor and downtrodden of rural Rajasthan.
The Journey Begins, July 30, 2015
Medical teams from the East coast, West coast, Colorado, and Georgia converge in Istanbul and begin the two day journey to Delhi then onto Jodhpur, and finally, a three-hour van ride to Phalodi.
Arrival in Phalodi, August 2, 2015
Check in with patients and meet with local medical professionals.
Surgery & Patient Care, Aug. 3-6, 2015
The team awoke early Monday morning, fueled up with spice-infused masala chai, and headed over to the hospital on foot. We were greeted with a waiting room full of children and vibrant colors. The morning was filled with patient screenings as the doctors checked to see which children were ready for surgery. Nurse Natalie and Doctor Gary prepped the OR while Nurse Terri got to work setting up the PACU. A brief meeting was held to decide the week’s surgery schedule, and then the doctors and nurses were off!
The first surgery began a little after 11AM and involved a toddler who was having a cleft lip repaired. It was followed by two more lip surgeries on a five-month old baby and a six-year old boy. The temperatures here are hot and humid due to it being monsoon season. The operating room started out cool in the morning thanks to a hard-working air conditioner, but the OR’s many machines and devices caused the circuits to trip and the doctors were forced to go without A/C as the day wore on.
By 5:30 the surgeries had wrapped up, and the sweat drenched docs headed to the ward to check on their patients. Relieved moms and dads cuddled with their children and the local night-shift nurses took over care of the patients.
Tuesday in Phalodi, August 4, 2015
Lots of little ones in the OR today—some were there for the first time and others, like Jagdish, were returning from previous years for follow-up surgeries. Despite the stifling heat, the recovery ward was full of content children and parents.
An interesting practice here at the hospital is how they distinguish between male and female patients. The title “Baby” is used to designate female pediatric patients, and the title “Master” is used to designate male pediatric patients.
Master Chandaveer’s parents were especially grateful for his care. While in the recovery ward, his father called me to his son’s bedside and requested that his picture be taken with a thumbs up. The family traveled from a village over two hours away using a variety of transportation modes including auto rickshaws and busses packed with passengers. In this sweltering heat, the journey is even more taxing.
The patients will stay in the ward all week so the nurses and doctors can continue monitoring their recovery. The children sleep on the hospital beds, and their parents sleep on the cool marble floor on either side of the bed—they use no mats or sheets. The nurses report that these children are amazingly easy going and are a delight to work with!
Farwell Assembly, Aug. 7, 2015
Hospital Director, Dr. Kanti Jain holds a ceremony to honor the patients, families, doctors, nurses, and hopsital employees who made the week a success. The MMFC team returns to Jodphur.