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I remember quite vividly when I saw the baby for the first time in November 2011 in China Cheepuruvalsa near Salur. Because the mother presented the baby in a dramatic way. I was in a busy clinic and every one wanted to be seen right away. In the midst of these women this mother was there with the baby with wide eyes and cat like cry. My first impression was the baby was grossly emaciated, completely dehydrated and for the first time I wondered how to tackle this problem in a remote area.

I know the mortality among the infants of the tribal population is far higher than the residential e population because of many reasons. Firstly the suppressing poverty simply prohibits the parents see a doctor because it costs enormous amount of money to see the doctor and get the right treatment. Secondly the access to the medical services is poor as these tribal people live in a remote area. Finally the culture of the tribe makes them to see the witch doctor in the village rather than the doctor in the town who is far away and of course there is no transport from their village to reach the doctor.

Tragically the story does not end there. The baby was born by caesarean section and it has cost them Rs.25,000 (£250)  The family could not afford that much of money however the family has a small piece of land which they pawned for the money. The mother was feeding the baby with full strength cows milk quite obviously the baby could not digest the feed. I was not very sure whether the mother was suffering from post-natal depression.

The only way I can deal with this problem is, after finishing the clinic we took the baby and the parents to hospital in our van and admitted the baby with the mother. I assured then parents that they don’t need to pay anything. Thanks for the Leprosy Mission for allowing that.

We hydrated the baby and started the proper Formula milk right away. Within two days the baby recovered and was hungry looking for feeds.

The baby I initially thought may not survive was actually looking for her next feed. My wife Mrs Bethapudy bought some new clothes for the baby and indeed the nursing staff contributed used baby clothes and clothes for the mother. Mother was trained in feeding the baby and was discharged.

I went back to the same village after a year in November 2012 to do my usual clinics. There they were, the baby bubbling with health, with chubby cheeks and smiling parents and baby’s grandmother.

I knew in my heart that Lord Jesus lifted this baby from the very doors of death and given back to her parents.

She is certainly a  Miracle Baby.

As for my faith is concerned Our Lord listens to our prayers and if it is his will he will rewards us through our prayers.

Dr.Sunder Rao, Dr.(Mrs) Kanakavalli Rao Bethapudy

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World Leprosy Day 2015

On World Leprosy Day 2015

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