Official Website of CSI Parish Kattakada, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Official Website of CSI Parish Kattakada, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
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Medical Missions

Before the arrival of the Christian missionaries, there were no organized health services in India. Ayurveda, India’s indigenous medical system stood un-developed since the last 2000 years. The knowledge of the physicians who practice Ayurveda was limited. They had caste prejudices and they refused to treat the so-called “un-touchables”.
Missionaries who saw the need for scientific health care began mission hospitals in India. Christian missions contributed much to the medical scene in India. Mission hospitals were started in several districts in the country. Modern medicine was made available to all people. Doctors treated patients with love, concern and care. There was no discrimination against people based on caste. Missionary doctors would be happy to touch the patients even if they are from low castes while the society treated them as “untouchables”.
Another great contribution was the founding of hospitals for women. Ida Scudder who witnessed the death of pregnant women who were refused by their husbands to be treated by men doctors in 1893 founded the hospital for women that grew to be one of the best hospitals in India – Christian Medical College and hospital, Vellore. This hospital has produced world class doctors who have served with love, dedication and sacrifice.
Christians served the community by becoming nurses, as of 1940, 90% of nurses in India were Christians. “Nursing” was considered as mean job and only Christians were willing to take up this job.  Mostly women were attracted to this profession, and soon it  came to be accepted as a noble profession.
Treating leprosy patients with dignity was a far cry in those days. Lepers were considered as enduring wrath of god according to their karma. So, they were ill treated worse than animals. And in some places they were buried alive. Christian doctors began ministry among them by caring for them. Many TB (Tuberculosis) sanatoriums were created by medical missionaries. All show how service was used as tool for social transformation.

Godfrey Philips said in 1936, “Of the six million Indian Christians, the great majority are of depressed class origin. Yet no one thinks of the Christian community as a depressed class. The church has actually uplifted more depressed class people than all other organizations put together.”