An update from Purulia Hospital
Purulia Hospital in West Bengal has been through many changes in the last year.
From the exciting developments in the new Out Patients’ Department (OPD) – made possible by your wonderful support and faithful prayers – to changes in the team who serve our leprosy-affected brothers and sisters.
Earlier this year, after many years of incredible commitment to the hospital, God led Dr Joydeepa and Dr Famkima Darlong into the next step of their journey. Their hearts have always been to heal leprosy-affected people and see their lives restored, and both have stayed true to this calling.
Now the Head of Knowledge Management and Head of Healthcare for The Leprosy Mission in India respectively, Dr Joydeepa manages leprosy research, training and sharing of knowledge across all of our teams in India, and Dr Famkima oversees TLM’s 14 hospitals and medical camps throughout the country.
The couple relocated to Delhi, where they live with their daughter, and now their reach is wider and greater than ever. Often involved in medical conferences, they are positioned perfectly by God to improve healthcare in India and to influence the global fight against leprosy and disability.
Both Dr Joydeepa and Dr Famkima often go back to Purulia to visit the team and patients during their weekends. The hospital will always hold a special place in their hearts but they know they are in the centre of God’s will for their lives – and there is no better place for them to be.
Our new Superintendent at Purulia
Across the worldwide Leprosy Mission family, we are so excited for Dr Joydeepa and Dr Famkima, and equally delighted to welcome our new Superintendent for Purulia Hospital, Dr Ujjwal Hembrom.
Vicki Davison, Partnership Officer at The Leprosy Mission England & Wales, had the privilege of speaking to Dr Ujjwal recently and wanted to share with you his vision for Purulia and his faith in God:
“I was born and brought up in a small village called Ambajora in Jharkhand province, around 200 km from Purulia. I grew up in a Christian home; my maternal grandfather was a pastor and my faith in God has been the focal point of my life.
My daughter is a doctor, working with me at Purulia, and my son is studying journalism. My wife is home maker – she binds us all together as a family. I never wanted to be a doctor! I planned to be an engineer, but God called me into a career in medicine.
"I spent 11 years working at a mission hospital run by Northern Evangelical Lutheran Church, close to my home in Jharkhand, before joining The Leprosy Mission’s Purulia Hospital in 2001.
"I worked at Purulia from 2001-2005, so re-joining earlier this year was like coming home. Many of the staff I first worked with are still serving at the hospital and we share fellowship in morning devotionals, and a weekly time of worship and Bible study at one of our homes.
“There is something very special about Purulia and I believe it comes from our team’s heart and commitment to God. Most of our staff here are from leprosy-affected families so their love for our patients is real. They are full of understanding and compassion.
"Our team’s heart is not to earn more money but to serve. This is what I believe has taken Purulia Hospital from strength to strength over the years. I have seen God move and bless us as our team put Him at the centre of everything we do.”
Vision for Purulia
“The reputation of Purulia extends far beyond West Bengal state," said Dr Hembrom. "It is known for being a refuge and a place where every patient is given quality medical care and treated with dignity. Leprosy is not just a medical disease so we support each patient with holistic treatment – that’s what they deserve.
"Leprosy will always be our focus, but I plan to expand and improve our services in other areas. We will add a specialist service in orthopaedics, increase general disability support, and expand the treatment available for patients suffering with neglected tropical diseases.
“My heart is that Purulia will continue to be home to people who have been outcast and abused. Anyone can come and they will be cared for, loved and respected.
"Our team will continue to do everything we can for leprosy-affected people, and we will continue to put God first.”