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Church's hospitals promote healing in India

LINK: Click to open full size version of image
A UMNS photo by James S. Murthy

Dr. Ashok Kumar (right) counsels an AIDS patient at Chandrakal Methodist Hospital.
Oct. 31, 2006

By James S. Murthy*

LUCKNOW, India (UMNS) -- For more than 100 years, the Methodist Church has been a source of healing to Indians.

The South Asian nation has 15 Methodist hospitals serving people irrespective of their creed, class, language and background.

They operate in a nation with 1 billion residents — the only country besides China to have hit that benchmark. India has high rates of HIV/AIDS, polio, leprosy, tuberculosis and malaria, and the number of people with cardiac problems, diabetes, and physical and mental ailments is also increasing.

Many people recall the healing they received at Methodist hospitals run by pioneer missionaries, doctors and paramedics.

The Methodist Church, jointly with U.S.-based Joyce Meyers Ministries, has revived a hospital that now specializes in the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients in the Chandrakal region. "Here we treat the HIV/AIDS patients free of cost," said Dr. Ashok Kumar of Chandrakal Methodist JMM Hospital. "We will soon have a new hospital on the same campus to meet increasing demands."

LINK: Click to open full size version of image
A UMNS photo by James S. Murthy

Patients arrive by cart at the Methodist-supported Crawford Memorial Hospital Vikarabad in India.
Methodist-related Isabella Thoburn College in Lucknow runs an outreach health project to create awareness of HIV/AIDS. The college uses puppets and storytelling to tell students and faculty about how to avoid the disease.

Clara Swain Hospital in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, is the oldest and largest Methodist hospital in India. It was started in 1870 as the first hospital for women and children in southern Asia. It has a wing to identify and treat HIV/AIDS patients. "The hospital sends workers for special training to treat the HIV/AIDS programs," says Lillian Wallace, a staff member of the Methodist hospital.

The Nur Manzil Psychiatric Center in Lucknow monitors patients' psychological, social and spiritual needs. "I have a master plan for the next 10 years which will be taken up in a cycle of three years to make Nur Manzil the best center to minister to people with mental disorders," said C.K. Tiwari, center director. "As its founder, Dr. E. Stanley Jones, had deep faith in prayer, I too believe that my strength is in prayer."

*Murthy is a freelance writer based in Lucknow, India.

News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or

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