Cautious optimism blooms at The Duncan

The last time we updated from The Duncan Hospital in Bihar in northern India they were in the grip of the corona pandemic and indeed Blessy, senior paediatrician and wife of Hospital Director Prahbu, along with other staff members – actually caught the virus.  

As Prahbu explained, “Just a month ago we were so overwhelmed with a large number of covid cases among the staff and in the community. Over 55 staff tested positive and many were negative but asymptomatic. The most amazing thing was that none of them needed admission or oxygen. Looking back, I can only call this a miracle. We in many ways were prepared with oxygen, ventilators, and even doses of Remdesivir but none of us needed it.” 

He also told us that a large number of local people became ill with corona and many were treated at the Duncan and sadly there were many deaths – but, he added, it never became as bad at the hospital as he had feared. We are so pleased to hear that, for the moment, the situation seems to be under control at The Duncan although the hospital remains a covid delegated one and still has a number of covid patients. 

The local authorities in Raxaul understood that The Duncan has been working tirelessly to treat patients during this time and have been supportive – which is a huge help. 

General patient numbers are rising again now Blessy reports, with many who were fearful of attending due to corona, now back at routine appointments again. This has also meant that hospital income has risen enough again for staff to be able to take their full salaries for the first time in over 6 months.  Funds from The Duncan Hospital Charitable Trust were diverted during this crisis time (from earmarked future building projects) to help staff treat patients and also to help make up some of their depleted salaries so that they could support their own families.  

Although the corona crisis in India may be far from over, for the moment thankfully, The Duncan is on a much more stable footing. Many thanks to everyone who has donated during this time.  

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