SPOTLIGHT: St Joseph’s Hospital serving the poor near India-Pakistan border

It’s early morning in Samba, a frontier district located in the northern Indian territory of Jammu and Kashmir, bordering Pakistan. Sister Annie, a Catholic nun, is preparing herself for a field visit along with a team of doctors in the region’s innermost hamlets.

The team will inspect villages and conduct free medical checkups for local inhabitants who are mostly unaware about precautions needed for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 41-year-old, who hails from the southern state of Kerala, belongs to the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary congregation. For more than a decade Sister Annie has been the administrator of the 24-bed St. Joseph’s Community Hospital in Samba which caters for the region’s poor.

The hospital is located in an area where armies of both India and Pakistan have engaged in military action against each other.

Sister Annie told she has witnessed people fleeing when the armies have fought and knows how the community is affected.

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