The Janki Foundation gives regular financial support to J Watumull Global Hospital and Research Centre, a unique hospital located in Mt Abu, Rajasthan, India. Built to take advantage of a serene mountain top setting, the 102-bed hospital is a haven of succour in an area facing an acute shortage of healthcare.
Before Global Hospital, as it is popularly known, was commissioned in 1991, four hospitals with a combined bed strength of barely 457 served the district’s population of 700,000. Super-specialists like a cardiologist, diabetologist, ophthalmologist, ENT consultant, surgeon, orthopaedic surgeon were unheard of. Only very minor health ailments were treated locally, those who could afford health services travelled two hundred kilometres to the nearest city.
Global Hospital was established as a secondary care hospital, with outpatient clinics offering advice and treatment in the disciplines of cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, dietetics & fitness, ENT, gynaecology, obstetrics, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, physiotherapy, paediatrics, psychiatry, plastic surgery and surgery.
Good health for all is the hospital’s driving mission, brought into action by providing free outpatient consultations to all walk-ins and free or subsidised treatment to poor patients.
Global Hospital stands out for offering complementary medicine systems parallel to allopathic specialities. Complementary approaches include acupressure, ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine), homeopathy, magnet therapy and yoga therapy.
Another key differentiator is the emphasis Global Hospital puts on patient’s overall wellbeing, based on the philosophy that lasting solutions to health problems require the healing of mind, body and spirit. A special department of wellbeing offers admitted patients and outpatients courses in positive thinking, meditation and spiritual awareness to complement their care.
Many of the staff themselves practice Rajyoga meditation, and make conscious efforts to create an environment of peace and healing.
The latest comprehensive annual report of the hospital is attached – Download Here (PDF)
Global Hospital’s presence has made a huge difference to the local community. On an average, it treats 300 outpatients daily and 300 inpatients monthly. About half of the admitted patients receive free treatment.
Global Hospital also has an international role as Mt Abu is a well known place of pilgrimage and tourist centre, attracting over a million visitors a year.
Support for the local community through projects to serve the poor and needy remains at the heart of its work. Outreach medical teams provide doorstep health services and basic health education to 81 surrounding villages.
Over 2000 children benefit from a nutritional support programme running in 16 schools selected from among those in these villages. A local mother is employed to cook meals for the pupils. Over the years, serving children a healthy meal has brought marked improvements in their general wellbeing and school attendance.
Community ophthalmology services are another focus area, and aim at addressing India’s huge burden of preventable blindness. Community coordinators travel extensively to arrange screening camps in villages. People with mature cataracts are escorted back to the hospital where they are operated on for no charges. Partial support for this project comes from the Government of India under the National Programme for Control of Blindness. About 2500 sight-restoring surgical procedures are performed every year.
Global Hospital has opened a much-needed trauma centre and eye hospital in Abu Road, at the base of Mt Abu.
Starting with a small nursing assistant training centre in 1995, which went on to train many local youth who are now employed in the hospital, Global Hospital’s educational initiatives have expanded to include a nursing diploma course, a graduate degree programme in nursing, a diploma in ophthalmic techniques course, and post-graduate training for doctors in family medicine and ophthalmology.
Global Hospital’s approach has brought some striking results. This is particularly noticeable in the Coronary Artery Disease Regression programme, which the cardiology unit has developed in collaboration with the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences in New Delhi.
Patients enrolled for the joint study showed a marked improvement in their cholesterol levels, immune function as well as exercise tolerance, following lifestyle changes which included a lacto-vegetarian diet, daily exercise and regular meditation to reduce stress.
About 300 patients continue to enrol annually to learn these lifestyle changes.
For more information, please visit www.ghrc-abu.com