Personal Views

Healthshare: Clifton to Pachod

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 08 April 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:947
  1. Michael Harper

    Twinning arrangements between towns and villages in Britain and their counterparts in the developing world are becoming increasingly common. The Whiteladies Healthshare Project is unusual, however, in forming a link between a general practice health centre in Britain and a community health scheme in rural India.

    The initiative came from social workers at the Whiteladies Health Centre in Clifton, Bristol. Approaches were made to Oxfam, which agreed to facilitate contacts with the Comprehensive Health and Development Project in Pachod, Maharastra State. Oxfam has supported the work in Pachod for several years and was able to provide detailed information and establish personal contacts. Funds raised in Bristol were earmarked for the work in Maharastra. When Oxfam reached the point of withdrawing from commitment the Healthshare committee decided to continue to develop the relationship and, after prolonged negotiations with the Charity Commissioners, it was granted charitable status.

    Medical work in Pachod was started by a missionary, Walter Bishop. For a long time he had been aware of the physical needs of the people to whom he ministered. One day, while giving communion to an old man dying of leprosy, he was convinced that he heard God telling him to build a hospital in Pachod. He eventually managed this in the 1930s at a cost of about pounds sterling250. From 1942 the work was supervised by Dr Gladys Jeffree, who now lives …

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