Centre for Holistic Healing
Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (JDCSI)
Kanchipuram is a village in the Kilinochchi district along the Paranthan Poorenyn road but interior to the main road. The ministry of the Centre for Holistic Healing (hereafter CHH), which takes up the social work of the Jaffna Diocese, has been from time to time travelling to pockets of areas where medical facilities are very remote. On the 28th of February, the medical team travelled to the people of the Kanchipuram village.
Kanchipuram has 147 families who have been brought back to their areas recently, having left the village because of the civil war. The surrounding villages are Kumarikuda, Kumarapuram, Samipulam, and Paranthan. Only one bus runs to take the children to the school at seven o’clock in the morning and returns at 2.00 pm. These villages depend on cultivating paddy, and there are at present no other options for their economic survival.
There is only one community building, which is in the middle of the village. It was able to host more than 200 people who came to receivetreatment that day.
The Medical Team
The free medical clinic program of CHH started with the first batch of students who did the CHH Diploma in Psychological Counseling in 2011. For the Kanchipuram Medical Team visit, Doctors, nurses, nursing students and volunteers joined the Team to assist the clinic. Mr. Vaiharthanan took on the responsibility of coordinating the clinic.He purchased medicines that would be needed after studying the area we planned to visit, having in mind the diseases we expected to find. The field workers of CHH and the JDCSI pastors of Vanni all contributed greatly to ensuring the local arrangements were in place for the Team’s visit.
The clinic started around 8.30 a.m. The CHH Diploma students were briefed about how to approach the clients, and how to help them to with their medical consultation and obtaining any medicine that the Doctor prescribed for them. Some of the students were given the task of counseling the patients.
Among the patients were amputees, those who were paralyzed, or who suffered from a malignancy, skin diseases, malnutrition and other illnesses. Most of the screening for trauma, PTSD, clinical depression was done by the CHH Director. The paralyzed patients either were brought in by the wheel chairs, or Dr. Jacobson and the Director arranged to visit their homes to assess the situation. All the medical consultations and provision of medicine were free of charge. The doctors referred some of the patients who were suffering illnesses that needed further treatment to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital.
Some information about two of our regular staff
Ms. Vanithais our very committed midwife has been working in the CHHever since we started the CHH six years ago. She was being trained as a midwife during that time. Since she was from Kilinochchi, it was easy for her to work in these villages. Now she directs to the CHHthose who need help like the amputees, single parents, their children who are under nourished. With the social workers she alsodoes house visits to monitor our clients
Now that she works in the Kilinochchi government hospital, she identifies the needy and is able to connect those who wish with the CHH services and CHH will support them as clients from there.
Soon after the war ended, at the opening day of the Centre for Holistic Healing in Kilinochchi Church parsonage premises, hundreds of amputees gathered to register for any kind of help we could render, as they were very poor. Physically handicapped people who had experienced the horror of the war and had been mentally, emotionally, physically, economically, and spiritually affected poured into the compound. More than 50 volunteers had their conditionrecorded that day.
Sasimala, an amputee,was one of them. She had no place to live and no one to care for herwhen she approached us. The CHH hassince give her shelter along with PTSD counseling. Now she is working at CHH. She loves to befriend those who are also amputees and to give advice.She goes to every mobile clinic and gives advice to the amputees on how to handle their life, advice on doing everyday chores, how to overcome their low mood and many other things. She is an asset to our team.
It has been my experience that I become anxious as we go into the unknown. But it has always been a miracle how God uses this little team to heal not only the physical wounds and illnesses, but also the psychological and spiritual ones like trauma, PTSD, depression, suicidal tendencies, substance abuse, child abuse, abuse in the family and other problems.
We welcome those who would like to donate in-kind food supplements for babies and the many small children who are under weight.
Students of Diploma in counseling
This is the 4th year that the one-year Diploma in Counseling has been conducted by the CHH. According to the curriculum, when they have finished the students should have participated in aMobile Medical Team, hospital visits to the psychiatric wards, field visits from house to house, and also done counseling sessions. The Mobile Medical Clinics are an excellent opportunity for the students to learn how to meet clients who are poorin their own environment and how to develop rapport with them so they can better understand their needs and know how better to help them.
We sincerely thank our coordinator Mr. Vayharthanan (Pharmacist), Darmini and Abirami our old nursing students, Keetthika, the nurses of Green Memorial Hospital, Sri Devei Shivani and Navam akka, the area coordinators John Ragunathan who initially found the place for this Clinic, Mr. Nadarasalingam, Mr. Tharshan, and Rev. Dixon and Rev. John. This was a wonderful team effort that helped tomake this mobile clinic a success. With the hope of having another free medical clinic next month, I sincerely thank you for rendering a helping hand to the ministry of CHH and JDCSI, and for meeting the many needs of the people of Kanchipuram village.
Dr. Thaya Thiagarajah
Centre for Holistic Healing
Jaffna Diocese, Church of South India
1 March 2016.