7.30.20 Harriet Benson Memorial Hospital

Since most of the hospitals in the Lalitpur area (in central India) are currently closed, Harriet Benson Memorial Hospital (HBMH) staff have been unexpectedly busy. For the last several weeks, they have been averaging 2 or 3 caesareans each day, often at night, giving little rest to the surgical staff, Dr. Madhurita (the anesthetist), and Dr. Rachel (the obstetrician). Many other types of patients are showing up at HBMH’s door for medical care since there is nowhere else to go. While they are very thankful for the increased income that additional patients bring, it is difficult for their limited staff to keep up.

Until a few weeks ago, they had only had one COVID-19 case in their area, but now they are experiencing a spike of over 100 cases and 3 deaths. It is easy to feel that the situation is out of control and that they are more at risk than ever, but they ask for prayer that the situation would simmer down.

The leadership at HBMH are grateful that two staff and a junior doctor who were stuck elsewhere when the lockdown was put into place have been able to return. So far, none of their staff have been infected with COVID-19. They are also thankful to Daniel Hendrix, a US audiologist, who was visiting in March and who has stayed to help set up an audiology department. As with most EHA hospitals, HBMH leadership need more staff in all areas. Another recent accomplishment was the setting up of an effluent water treatment plant required by the government to ensure they are releasing treated water back to the water table.

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