Arenjungla Kichu | Mokokchung
While many people are leaving the district of Mokokchung in search of better opportunities elsewhere, in a remarkable display of dedication and compassion, Dr Sungti Jamir and his Swiss wife, Dr Nadia, have taken on the challenge of establishing Anava Hospital in Settsü village, Mokokchung.
The couple, through this mission, wishes to provide accessible healthcare to the local population. The hospital aims to reduce the cost of medical treatment for patients while also creating employment opportunities.
Operating as a charitable project, Anava Hospital relies on contributions from well-wishers, friends, and family. The hospital with a current capacity of 40 beds is constructed under the Anava Welfare Society in India which is supported by the Anava Foundation in Switzerland.
Although undeniably a noble cause, the journey for the couple has been challenging. “It has been a mix of excitement, challenges, and frustration,” shared the couple.
Setting up large infrastructure in Mokokchung has always been known to be exceptionally difficult, expensive and often avoided.
However, in the case of Anava, the hurdles extend beyond limited resources – because, along with financial constraints, they have been facing logistical problems which have hindered the prompt functioning of Anava Hospital.
“Initially, we expected to complete it within two years, but it took us five years,” expressed the couple.
They said they faced significant delays when the equipment they had ordered from Switzerland in November 2021 was stuck at the port until September 2022 due to customs issues, incurring an additional cost of around 2 lakh rupees for customs duties.
Furthermore, they encountered transportation challenges to bring the equipment to Mokokchung. Further, the Covid-19 pandemic also played a role in the delay.
In addition to logistical challenges, the couple admitted to struggling with workforce management. “Our electrician, who went on holiday in January and was supposed to return in February, only showed up last week for one day and then disappeared. We were told he was ill,” they added. Finding reliable workers has also proven to be another hurdle in Mokokchung.
However, the couple remains hopeful that the hospital will be inaugurated by the end of July if everything goes according to plan. The hospital now has functioning toilets, sinks, running water, and a completed floor. They have registered the hospital, obtained a trade license, and constructed a canteen. The hospital has also started seeking job applicants.
“We were very surprised at the number of applicants because we were expecting only around two but we have received so many of them,” the couple added.
The hospital intends to have departments specializing in medicine, surgery, paediatrics, gynaecology, anaesthesia, and critical care. It may be noted that Dr Sungti Jamir is a surgeon, while Dr Nadia specializes in gynaecology and operative gynaecology.
However, the couple believes the struggle and the challenges are still not over.
“At the moment, we are in desperate need of financial assistance to purchase equipment for the hospital. We require approximately 100,000 francs (Rs 90,64,359) to sustain us for the next five months, covering salaries, bills, and equipment purchases,” the couple shared. “To open the in-patient department, we will need a similar amount for an additional three months, including the procurement of operation theatre equipment,” they added.
Despite expressing their dismay, Sungti and Nadia affirmed, “No matter how challenging it gets, we believe that God has called us here, and He has been our source of comfort.”
Nadia, in particular, appreciated how life in Mokokchung felt like a “dream,” especially compared to their previous experiences in South India. She acknowledged the freedom given to women and the fact that she can relate more with people. However, she expressed disappointment regarding the prevalent corruption in society.
Amidst all the trials and tribulations, the couple emphasized that their most pressing need is financial resources. “Our family, friends, and individuals from the West have been incredibly supportive. We have just sent newsletters to Switzerland, reaching out for donations. Our family and friends here in Nagaland and India have also extended their assistance,” they explained.
When asked if they have reached out to the people of Mokokchung, the couple admitted that they were unsure how to approach the matter. They recognized the importance of involving the local community but were uncertain about the most effective means of engagement.
With the hospital’s completion approaching, its focus is now on securing the necessary funds to purchase essential equipment and sustain its operations.
The couple humbly appealed to the generosity of individuals, organizations, and philanthropic entities to support their noble cause. Any contribution, whether big or small, will play a vital role in helping Anava Hospital fulfill its mission of providing affordable healthcare, generating employment, and strengthening Mokokchung’s healthcare system.
Well-wishers to the Anava Hospital can donate to:
Account Name: Anava Welfare Society
Account Number: 917020074581358
IFSC Code: UTIB0000896