Damien Social Welfare Centre
DHANBAD, JHARKHAND, INDIA
in the service of humanity, 1964 onwards
Sponsor a child for her studies and food
Support for the Leprosy Patients
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Nirmala General & Leprosy Hospital
The word “Nirmal” in Hindi means “Pure” or “Clean”. This feminine form applies to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Nirmala is one of the attributes of Our Lady, the mother of Jesus, as it is believed by Catholics that she was conceived without any sin and thereafter she lived a chaste life.
Mother Mary is the patron saint of three of the units Damien Social Welfare Centre (DSWC), Dhanbad viz.
Nirmala General & Leprosy Hospital
Nirmala Nursing School
Motto: NOT TO BE SERVED but TO SERVE
Director: Fr. Bipin Kumar Pani
Administrator: Sr. Servia CSS
Chief Medical Officer: Dr. Amit Kumar Singh
Location: GT Road, Jealgora, KG Ashram, Govindpur, Dhanbad 828109
In 1967 Bishop Lawrence T Picachy SJ, the first Bishop of Jamshedpur Diocese, sent out invitation to several religious congregations to help out Fr. Michael Kavanagh SJ, the founder of DSWC. The response was poor. It was the sisters from the Congregation of Samaritan Sisters, a newly founded congregation then, responded to the invitation and opened their first house in North. Srs Magdalen, Claudia, Josephine and Joan joined Dr. (Sr.) Luka of the Holy Family Congregation to offer their service to the leprosy patients in a two ward hospital at Baramsia, better known as Cemetery Hospital. These sisters went in search of needy and desperate patients in their hiding, because patients preferred to hide and remain unrecognized. Leprosy patients in growing number came flocking into the hospital. With the help of CRS, they began distributing milk powder, soybean oil and cloths.
With the support of Jeep from Caritas International and Oxfam DSWC, started running 25 mobile clinics and serve 3300 patients in 1967. German Leprosy Relief Association (GLRA) extended their support for the hospital equipments.
In 1968 a large plot of land was acquired with the help from the Holy Child Association through Fr. Koppleberg from West Germany and on April 7, 1969, new hospital called Nirmala Leprosy Hospital, Govindpur was inaugurated.
Dr. S. Mukherjee, an eye specialist joined hands with then Nirmala leprosy Hospital in 1970. Same year we saw Fr. Lawrance (Larry) Hunt replace Fr. Mike Kavanaugh SJ, who left for states. Oxfam grant made it possible to start shoe department to take care for the patients feet, also have 6 staff quarters, a heavy-duty machine and 4 swing machines.
To conduct leprosy work in a scientific manner, with the support of German Leprosy and Rehabilitation Association (GLRA), DSWC started a six month-long training program for Para Medical Workers (PMWs) at Govindpur. With the help of Government of Bihar Nirmala Leprosy Hospital started outreach program like Immunization, Polio, DPT and Tetanus-Toxide at the district levels through these PMWs and Mother & Child Care with the support of CRS for the marginaliged in the villages.
Warm hospitable atmosphere not only attracted the patients, but also medical practiceners as well as young candidates of various congregations to have life experience. People with innovative ideas and with human concern came from across the ocean.
Baramasia Mercy Post (BMP) better known as Cemetery Hospital
Baramasia Mercy Post was the generous contribution of Rev Sadiq of the Anglican Church towards DSWC.
Rev. Sadiq was the co-founder of DSWC. From 1964 to 1966, service to the leprosy patients wa limited to distribution of food grains donated by Catholic Relief Services. There was no suitable place for the distribution of food grains therefore Fr. Kavanaugh used to distribute it at the premises of St. Anthony’s Church. During this time, once a week, the American Sisters from Mercy Hospital came forward to help Fr. Kavanaugh. Towards the end of 1964 they could give medical assistance to some 500 patients at two centers i.e., Jharia and Katras.
Dr. AK Mukherjee volunteered his services and with his cooperation a mobile clinic started to function. With this DSWC could provide the medical services to around 200 patiens. Hearing about the distribution of food and medicine many patients used to come to St. Anthony’s Church. This forced Fr. Kavanaugh to find new place for the distribution of food grains and take up the medical care.
In 1966 Rev. Sidiq of Anglican Church handed over the old cemetery at baramasia, near the railway crossing to Fr. Kavanaugh for the purpose of opening a clinic. Soon it was changed to 60 beds Hospital called Baramasia Mercy Post. Since it was built on the cemetery, people used to called it Cemetery Hospital. Slabs of the cemetery were used as tables and chairs. This hospital used to get 500 to 750 patients everyday from 130 villages. They were given medicines. They were given dressing as well as ration.
As we have 120 beds Nirmala General & Leprosy Hospital at Govindpur, we closed down BMP and we are providing leprosy work in all its aspects: Health Education, different types of Surveys, Treatment, Training to all the destitute, helpless and hapless Leprosy patients.
A step further: As the time passed by, DSWC realized that time has come that Nirmala Leprosy Hospital should also take care of General Patients, therefore in 2012 Nirmala Leprosy Hospital was renamed Nirmala General & Leprosy Hospital, Govindpur. In last 5 decades Nirmala General & Leprosy Hospital has cured more than 50000 persons affected with leprosy.
We continue to treat patients affected with leprosy. Every day we get 70-80 patients in the OPD and about 60 patients are there as In patients.
At present we are not only taking care of leprosy patients, but we are also taking care of general patients.
Dr. Paritosh Srivastava give medical treatment to all the patients with dental complains.
Dr. Nishikant Tirkey give solace to the patients having trouble with kidney, heart, diabetic.
In the year 2014 Damien Foundation India Trust (DFIT) came forward to support and restart Reconstructive Surgery (RCS). Dr. Jabcob Mathew comes from Chennai to conduct RCS.
Dr. Mrs CE Titus MS
Dr. HB Dwedi MBBA, MD Medicine
Dr. Nishikant Tirkey, MBBS, MD, Medicine, Diabetologist, EX Sr. Resident Dr. RML Hospital Delhi
Dr. RI Singh MBBS, Surgeon & Physician
Dr. A Prewez MBBS, MD, Surgeon & Physician
Dr. Paritosh Srivastava, BDS Hons, Dental Surgeon
Dr. Amit Kumar Singh, MBBS, Ex MO JJC Jharia
There are two units in the hospital viz. unit for leprosy treatment and unit for General Patients
Unit for Leprosy patients: All the wards are filled with ulcer patients and reaction patients.
Five times a year Reconstructive Surgery takes place for leprosy patients
Unit for General Patients: There is well equipped Dental OPD and Eye OPD, where patients are treated with expert hands. If needed patients also undergo eye operation and dental operation.
Nirmala Genral & Leprosy Hospital also has following facilities
Physiotherapy: All the physio cases are treated there
X-Ray: It is being developed so that all the ortho patients can benefit from this.
Pathology: All the normal checkups are done here.
Pharmacy: medicines for out patients and in patients are available here
Office Clinic: Every Monday 3 to 5 there is clinic at the main office of DSWC for those, who need to get treatment, but do not need to get admitted in the hospital. It is specially for those coming from the town and do not want to identify as leprosy patients.
General Camp on the last Wednesday of the month: In order to give a message to the people that Nirmala General & Leprosy Hospital also gives treatment to the general patients, every last Wednesday of the Month there is a free General checkup camps is conducted in the hospital.
Free checkup Camps in the community: This is another way of informing people that Hospital has experts to treat not only leprosy patients but also general patients and that is why time to time free health checkup camps are organized in the community with prior information.
Immunization: In 2016 we also started immunization on the last Wednesday of the month so that hospital also can render service to mother and child
Shoe Department: Above all Nirmala General & Leprosy Hospital has a shoes department, where special shoes are made for the leprosy patients, so that their feet could be protected.
Once Nirmala General & Leprosy Hospital was the best known hospital in whole of North India. Now also patients come from far and wide for skin care.
Significant milestone in the History of Hospital
Establishing 1st ANM Nursing School in the Diocese in 2014
Performing 1st Reconstructive Surgery (RCS) with the help of GLRA in early 1990s and now restarting in 2014 the same with the help of DFIT
Special Thanks to Dr. Mrs. CE Titus, who after retirement gave her whole hearted service to Nirmala Hospital.
Special Thanks to Dr. Sanjeet Kishore Karan, who in spite of his busy schedule comes whenever required and conducted all the surgeries of leprosy patients.
Special Thanks to the Congregation of Samaritan Sisters (CSS), it is because of their untiring effort that Nirmala General & Leprosy Hospital still continues to serve persons affected with leprosy and persons coming from the deprived section of the society.
Year-wise progress of the Hospital