Dr. Sister Lias

This interview was conducted by Ms. Anuradha Reddy Guda

Dr. Lias (Maria U.P.) has been serving as a Primary Healthcare Physician and specializes in Paediatrics. She has been associated with the Holy Cross Health Centre in Tura, Meghalaya in the north east since 2008.

She introduced herself as a religious doctor serving the poor and under privileged people in the villages of North east where access to healthcare is a big problem. She has been in the medical profession for the past twelve years and derives deep satisfaction in serving humanity. She expressed her love for children and is committed to providing them with proper healthcare.

Her journey from a state in the south all the way up to the north east has been inspiring. During her internship days she was sent to Tura, a place in Meghalaya where she had to visit a village affected by Malaria. “I saw many children were affected by Malaria; two babies were brought in by a mother. They were badly affected by Malaria and I could save only one by giving my own blood, but was unable to save the other as blood was not available. After my post-graduation when I returned to continue service, the mother brought the child, who had now grown up and said “this is the child you saved”, that is when I thought that I must do something for these children that is what motivated me to choose paediatrics as my specialization.”

Over the years Dr. Lias developed connections with doctors and surgeons who could easily be approached and were supportive to conduct surgeries and to treat major ailments. Being in a remote village she was required to attend to any form of illness as there was very little access to doctors. Her strong belief and courage helped the whole village get immunized. She faced a lot of challenges and objections from the government towards this initiative of hers, for immunizing poor children, but she went out of her way and took a strong stand to help the community and prevented many deaths that are caused due to low immunity. The whole community was grateful to her for bringing out a revolutionary change and saving them from severe ailments.

She shared her experiences of how she cured patients with severe diseases with the help of other doctors in different states with whom she interacted during their visits to the camps. She not only performed surgeries confidently for which she was not trained but also motivated and encouraged doctors who were not willing to perform surgeries to save lives. She said her faith in God and extensive support from fellow doctors helped her reach this position. She strongly believes that “Need of the time is will of god” and this boosted her confidence to setup a hospital for all villages in that area who could use this facility for their healthcare needs and did not have to travel long distances to access the same.

Her message to aspiring girls entering into the medical field is not to think about money. Being money minded will never bring satisfaction. Being service oriented will make their patients trust them. For patients their doctor is God and they should do all they can to not shake that belief and always be approachable.

One other important advice she gives is to always be ethical. A lesson she learnt from her professor and fellow doctor was that all patients should be treated equally, be shown empathy and given the reassurances they need. A doctor must never show fear when treating a patient. She passes on the same advice to her junior doctors at work too.

She also shared how she taught the women in the village to save money and learn to carry out financial transactions. She taught them to take on financial responsibilities through training them for creating a livelihood for themselves.

Dr. Lias is truly a messiah for the people she serves with such dedication and fervour. May she be given all the strength to continue this work of God, as she calls it. She is truly an inspiration.

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