Sometimes in the middle of the night, Rose Plathottathil, SCN is awakened by the barking of her dogs at the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth ministry site in Rajgir. When she moves to the front porch she can hear the cries of help coming from people at the entrance gate. She knows then, that another local villager has been stung by a scorpion.

Every April to November, scorpions like to come out of their hiding places to soak up the hot India sun. When one of these creatures attack a villager of Rajgir, they often come to see Sister Rose.

When patients are brought to the health center they are treated with snake stone. The snake stone, which is actually bone from a cow, absorbs the poison from the point of the sting. The stone sucks the poison out of the blood. As soon as the stone contacts the blood, it sucks itself tight onto the wound and does not let go until all the poison and secretions have been absorbed. It drops off several hours later, but may take as long as a day.

Sister Rose must act very quickly before numbness of the limb sets in. Once the poison has been absorbed, the stone is placed into a bucket of cow’s milk to cleanse the stone so it can be used again the next time a scorpion attacks.

This is just one of the many facinating ways the Maria Health Center helps the people of Rajgir, India.

Spalding Hurst

Spalding Hurst is the communications specialist with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. He is currently traveling with the SCNs throughout India — learning first hand about their ministry work, helping to connect through technology the global SCN Community, and recording the stories of the Sisters in India.

Follow Spalding’s travels here and on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.
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