Ludhiana CMC Reaches Out to Africa

The Ludhiana Christian Medical College Governing Body took an historic action during their September 2010 meeting;  they voted to receive international students for the first time in their history.

Years of civil war in Liberia brought about an extreme shortage of dentists.  So that there were only three dentists serving the entire country, and they were all in their 60s.  The Ganta Methodist Hospital in Liberia, which had a dental clinic but no dentist, contacted the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church for help with this problem.

In the past the General Board of Global Ministries would have looked for a solution here at home.  However, this time they turned to the Ludhiana Christian Medical College in India.  Dr. Abraham Thomas, Director of the Ludhiana Christian Medical College and Hospital sent, Dr. Abi Thomas, Principle of the Ludhiana Christian Dental College, to Liberia to see how they might help.

The trip led to an arrangement whereby the Ludhiana Christian Dental College is sending their graduates to Liberia to serve at the Ganta Methodist Hospital on a rotating basis for 8 months at a time.  Their $1,500 a month salary and travel expenses are born by the General Board of Global Ministries.

Mr. Franklin Walker, Creative Ministries Team Chairperson, made a special point to meet and visit with Dr. Ashwin Zechariah when he lead the St. James United Methodist Church VIM team to Liberia in November.

While in Liberia, visiting with Liberian United Methodist Bishop Arthur Kulah, Dr. Abi Thomas suggested a longer term solution to their shortage of dentists.  He proposed that Liberian students be sent to the Ludhiana Christian Dental College to receive their training.  This proposal had three bright sides.  First, they would receive the best training offered anywhere in the world.  Secondly, their training would cost less than sending students to the United States, as has been the practice in the past.  And Bishop Kulah feels the students will be more inclined to return to Liberia to serve upon graduation.