It is that time of the year when every resident reminisces old times in the city. And the Madras Medical College is no exception. The grand old institution will, for the first time, participate in the Madras Day celebrations.

According to MMC Dean V. Kanagasabai, the college and its constituent institutions including the Egmore-based Regional Institute of Ophthalmology and Government Ophthalmic Hospital, the IOG and the Kasturba Maternity Hospital, Triplicane, which are part of the city's history, are hosting events to showcase the rich medical history the city has been witness to.

The Government General Hospital was established 25 years after Madras was formed, in 1664. The MMC to which the GH is attached, is 176 years old; the IOG was set up in 1844 and the KGH in 1885. The eye hospital, the second such hospital to be established in the world, has an interesting array of exhibits that explain the various ailments of the eye.

“Given its historical significance and the way the institution continues to hold an important position it is only natural to participate in the celebrations,” Dr. Kanagasabai said. The MMC's heritage structure is still being used by the students for anatomy classes. The college will soon be shifted to a new modern structure coming on another historical place, the erstwhile central jail complex.

On Sunday, the museum at Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, which is attached to the Women and children's hospital, was open to the public. Women, who came to visit friends and relatives in the hospital, took a detour and visited the century-old Giffard Hall to view instruments used 200 years ago for delivering babies; materials and instruments used for family planning programmes; and specimens such as abnormal foetuses, diseased ovaries and uterus used to teach medical students of the various abnormalities that the hospital had encountered.

About half a dozen medical professionals, including a paediatrician and three nurses took time to explain the exhibits. Dummies were placed on a table in the centre of the room and medical students explained the resuscitation procedure. Several women who came to view the exhibits raised questions on cervical cancer which were clarified by the nurses.

At MMC, apart from a display of human organs and skeletons of a variety of animals in the heritage building, flexiboards explain the historical changes in the institution such as the first Indian to become the head, the story of Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy after whom many social welfare schemes for women have been named and snippets about the hospital's daily activities. At the Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine in K.K.Nagar, equipment used to manufacture callipers in the early 20th century is on display. The exhibits will be on display till August 28. Details about the institutions are available on MMC's website too, Dr. Kanagasabai said.


R. SujathaJune 28, 2012