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Mount Rosary Health Project

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MOUNT ROSARY HEALTH PROJECT


Mount Rosary Tuberculosis Sanatorium and Its History:


Mount Rosary Tuberculosis Sanatorium and its history: Very Rev. Msgr. Francis Elias D’ Souza , a holy diocesan Priest of Mangalore, founded Mount Rosary Tuberculosis Sanatorium on June 27, 1937. Though Mount Rosary was first called Tuberculosis Sanatorium, later on it was named Mount Rosary Charitable Institutions. The change of the name came, because of the new services added to Mount Rosary, besides treatment of Tuberculosis disease. The services added were, a home for the aged, dying and a home for the destitute. Mount Rosary Tuberculosis Sanatorium began with a 50 bedded health service, both for men and women, irrespective of caste and creed. Tuberculosis disease was very rampant in the eastern side of the diocese of Mangalore. Small farmers and agriculture labour families, scheduled caste people and Harijans and Koragas, lived in the villages of Moodbidri and Belthangady and Karkal areas, Tuberculosis patients also from the Ghats came to Mount Rosary Tuberculosis Sanatorium for treatment.


Tuberculosis Patients:

The cause of this tuberculosis disease in these areas was both because of malnutrition and alcoholism among people. The labour class found only seasonal work. Their earning was not enough to take care of their large families or extended families. Lack of nutrition was the main cause for T.B. disease among the labourers who were infected with tuberculosis germ, and they gave the contagion to the other members of the family. Family worries led the earning members to drink excessively and this precipitated both the cause and the spread of the disease. 

Mount Rosary Tuberculosis Sanatorium was full of T.B patients and the disease was considered, a dreaded disease. There were no effective antibiotics in the early 30’s or 40’s or 50’s of the last century. Hence only the unstinted service of Msgr. Francis Elias D’Souza and a few other volunteers, soothed and cared for the T.B patients; and it was effective and many patients were cured with medicines available at that time; but Mount Rosary T.B sanatorium prayed before the blessed sacrament.   It is more, Jesus and Mary, who cured the patients. There were hardly any mortalities, as the records tell us. 

Tuberculosis diseases is both positive and negative. When the disease is positive, a patient can communicate the T.B bacteria to a healthy person, through his sputum or through the utensils he uses and the air he breathes. Therefore utmost care was needed to be taken by medical persons who took care of the T.B patients. The positive patients can now become negative patients with modern drugs with a course of 15 days or a month. A negative T.B patients is one, who has the Tuberculosis bacteria but he does not communicate his disease but he has to continue treatment for six to twelve months, or even more depending on the person who has been sick and how much his lungs have been affected.



Mount Rosary Hospital at Alangar:

 

Not only tuberculosis patients came for health services to Mount Rosary T.B Sanatorium, but sick people of various other tropical diseases began to arrive at Mount Rosary. For poor people, there was no other easy and available health facility in the area and therefore Hindus, Muslims and Christians, came for health assistance, health check up, and medicines to Mount Rosary. The third Director of Mount Rosary Charitable Institutions. Rev Fr. Jose Menezes, therefore constructed Mount Rosary Hospital, in the village of Alangar, near the Parish church which is around three furlongs away from Mount Rosary campus. The services at Mount rosary hospital available for tropical diseases were like, upper respiratory tract infection, injury, viral fever, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, headache, diabetic mellitus, pyroderma, pulmonary tuberculosis, acute bronchitis, anemia, lumber back pain, osteo arthritis, fungal infection, gastritis,
rheumatic heart disease, neuritis, epilepsy, anxiety, diarrhea, cellulites etc. Even maternity cases from among the poorest came to Mount Rosary hospital. Therefore Mount Rosary hospital became not only a health center for out patients, but also when necessary in patient care was also given .We have 10 beds for this care when necessary.


We have a good staff taking care of Mount Rosary hospital. The present Medical Officer Dr. Glen is a trained doctor from St. Johns , Bangalore. We secured the services of this doctor after our prayers with Mary, queen of Mount Rosary. Very few doctors are ready to work in the villages, especially to care for the sick people among the poorest. The poor sick people are not able to pay the doctor’s charges and medicine charges and therefore, a doctor with motivation of economic gains only, is not attracted to serve in the village hospital. We are also thinking to train one of our own sisters as a medical doctor in the near future, when we have a suitable candidate to do these studies. But we have already trained nurses, radiologists, lab technicians, from among our own sisters. Helpers of Mount Rosary. We intend training more of these sisters for the future as and when we get suitable religious vocations with aptitudes for medical studies.


Treatment of Tuberculosis Patients;


When Mount Rosary T.B Sanatorium was started in the year 1937, there were no good and effective drugs to treat the disease quickly and efficiently. But presently, because of medical advance, there are very effective medicines. Because of this, tuberculosis is not a dreaded disease, and special isolation ward for T.B. patients is not very necessary now; Patients, even staying at home, can be successfully treated; of course educating the other members of the family in taking proper care and prevention is necessary.


Medical extension work done by our sisters, Helpers of Mount Rosary :  Medical Health presently has three main aspects of service. 

Curative aspect, which consists in diagnosing the disease and providing curative treatment. 

Preventive aspect. This consists of educating village people, the cause of the various diseases and motivating them to use their knowledge gained and take necessary actions and implement activities individually or in the home or in the community environment . so that the causes of the disease are eliminated. 

Promotion aspect . This consists in educating village people in better nutrition , in creating a healthy environment, working for better sanitation, and working for healthy potable water. 

Twelve Sisters of ours are trained in short courses in villages community work and three in graduate courses. These sisters in batches visit village families on a regular basis. They have learned the skills to listen to people, to what the village people have to say, even learn from them, and build relationship and
friendship with them, so that the village people could come together. When the village groups or families come together , a hope is built in them, that when they come together they can solve their problems and come out of their backwardness by working together. In the group meetings, the causes of their backwardness are identified and through the help of resource persons, knowledge and education is given to them , to solve their problems and they are encouraged through group decision to plan activities, to solve and have their needs fulfilled. Often times the success of one group , gives light and inspiration to other similar groups that they also can achieve success and improve their quality of life by coming together, by group education and by group activity.


In these group meetings, topics on health issues of various tropical diseases and tuberculosis are also discussed. Betterment of children and the mothers and the family, get the needed priority. Through these processes of village work, Sisters, Helpers of Mount Rosary, have been able to promote better health among people and it has also promoted values of co-operation, of working together, respecting each other, and even sharing resources among the needy.


Conclusion :


As much as possible, Mount Rosary hospital avoids giving free medicines., because when these are  given free they do not become effective as people loose value for them.   When at least the cost price is given the patients  learn to appreciate and understand the value of health. But we are unable to raise resources for  the doctors salary, for the staff salary, and the maintenance of sisters and hospital infrastructure for which we need every month an amount of Rs. 36,550.00 and therefore for a year it totals to Rs. 4,38, 600/-.


We pray to Mother Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary to take care of these services, thanks to the good will and goodness of our people.



 

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