Nazareth Hospital: A Growing Sapling

From 1948 Nazareth Hospital Mokama had a history of robust growth.  It served the people of Bihar from far and wide besides the local population.  

Father Marion Batson, S.J., dreamed of having a hospital, a school and a shrine in the barren land, the Mokama church compound in the mid-1940s.  His faith and persistent hard work bore fruit when the six American pioneers (Sisters of Charity of Nazareth) came to Mokama on December 13, 1947.  They planted a small seed of hope in Mokama soil in 1948 which grew into Nazareth Hospital.   Initially they started it as a small dispensary.  Later on, with steady inflow of doctors, nurses and paramedics and the hard work of all it was upgraded to a general hospital.

Nazareth Hospital grew from a small plant nurtured and cared for by the vision and hard work of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.  No one was happier to see the growth of the hospital than the six American pioneers and the Indian Sisters who followed their foot-steps in administering the hospital to the best of their abilities. Together with the hard work and the commitment of a few doctors and the many nurses the hospital became known among the people of Bihar. As every human being has a limited life-span, these doctors also retired and moved on.  Since then it has been a difficult task for the administration to find and retain committed doctors to work in the hospital.

From late 1990, as in the life of any plant or institution, Nazareth Hospital began to experience stagnancy as it had reached its peak growth and expansion.  Time and again every effort was made to revive the hospital with external and internal help.  No one was as sad as the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth to see Nazareth Hospital fading away in front of their eyes.   Sadly, Nazareth Hospital had to limit its functioning.  Finally the OPD services were closed for a day in June 2012 while the other services such as surgery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology were discontinued.  The rumour spread like wild fire that Nazareth Hospital Mokama is closed forever.  The Hospital was never closed.  It was needed to put a full-stop to begin anew.

Since then Nazareth Hospital continued to take initiatives to find doctors to serve the hospital but without success.  Today the hospital is functioning with three doctors, a few nurses, para-medics and other support staff.  The hospital also has begun many out-reach programs for the HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis patients, senior citizens and women and in collaboration with the government of Bihar, the hospital runs an ‘After Care Home’ for children and youth.

Without hesitation I compare Nazareth Hospital Mokama with a small living plant.  The hospital, a living entity needs continuous nurturing, planning, vision and hard work of many for its growth and development.  I know the netizens remind us that the hospital had its glorious past. The past glorious growth and expansion of the hospital was in front of all to see.  This is the time to be patient and be grateful to what is happening to care for the sick especially during this pandemic. 

Sister Doctor Shanti taking ultrasound

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