Volunteer Medical Team Visits Christiana Children’s Home!

At the beginning of November, a new group of supporters had the privilege of visiting the Christiana Children’s Homes! Members of The District Church, located in Washington, DC, sent a group of five individuals to participate in a medical mission trip, to work alongside Babu, Hepsyba, Dr. Devavaram (local doctor), Dr. V. Narayana Rao (local dentist), a local ophthalmologist, Mrs. Rachel Rani (director of the homes), and several nursing students from the children’s home. The visiting team consisted of the following members (from L to R): Alison Paredes Torrez,  Megan Smith, Jeremy Obie, Itunuoluwa Alao, KyungSun Lee (team leader).

The group worked alongside Dr. Devavaram and the nursing students to conduct physical checkups for all of the children at the neighboring Elizabeth Barrie School near the Bapatla children’s home, which enrolls both children from the homes and from the surrounding neighborhood. The staff of the E. B. School was of great help in organizing the children to be able to complete the checkups without major disturbance to their academic work.

The checkups included a recording of each child’s height, weight, temperature, blood pressure, and heartbeat as well as an examination of their throat, ears, and nose. They also had their eyes checked by a local ophthalmologist.

Mid-week, the team traveled to the Nidamarru home and conducted physicals for the children there as well. On the return trip to Bapatla, the team visited the nearby historical “Undavalli” caves and the Prakasam Barrage (Bridge & Dam) on the Krishna River.

On Thursday and Friday, the local dentist joined the team and examined all the children as well. As a considerable number of dental problems were identified, the dentist, Dr. V. Narayana Rao, offered to revisit the homes soon and conduct a workshop for all the children to learn more about proper care for their teeth.

During the latter part of the week, the group was also able to visit two local hospitals and hear from local experts on the HIV/AIDS situation in the immediate area. They were glad to learn that the crisis has improved over the past ten years, but the disease continues to affect many people, including young people who were born with the virus. Christiana Children’s Homes continues to provide additional support for a number of young people in the local community who are living with HIV/AIDS.

Throughout the week, a total of 258 children (218 from the Elizabeth Barrie School and 40 from the Nidamarru Home) were examined. 91 of the children were identified with dental issues, of which most are minor problems. Another 17 children were diagnosed with some eye problems, and 45 children reported other general ailments. Babu and Hepsyba and their team will be working with the local doctor, dentist and ophthalmologist to provide follow-up on the issues identified. Please pray for the Christiana Children’s Homes, and consider partnering with Friends of Children’s Village, to help fund this round of medical care.

As the trip occurred during Diwali (festival of lights), the visiting group also had a wonderful time with the children lighting off fireworks. They were also able to spend many hours playing with the children, talking to them, teaching them songs, and learning from them about life in India.

Although it was the first time the homes have hosted such a medical camp, Babu and Hepsyba were very excited by the results, and know the importance of consistent medical checkups. Even though it is expensive, they are hoping to have such a medical camp every year. Please continue to keep the children’s health in your prayers as sickness and disease are a constant reality in their families and the surrounding communities. We believe God is working through Christiana Children’s Homes to help free these children from the cycle of poverty and the physical ailments that are a constant threat to them, and the impoverished families all around them.