These inspirational doctors aim to make the world a little bit better in their own special way.
1. A gynaecologist who celebrates birthdays to save baby girlsIn India where boys are highly favoured over girls, a gynaecologist from Pune, west of Maharashtra, delivers baby girls for free at his own hospital to curb killing of baby girls in the society.
Dr Ganesh Rakh agrees that the problem is far from removed, but believes that his initiative, “Mulgi Vachva Abhiyan”, which translates as "Campaign to save the girl child", will create a domino effect.
The anti-girl bias has a corrosive impact on India's sex ratio. A 2011 census revealed that for every 1,000 boys born, only 927 girls were born, which had fallen further to 918 in 2016.
"They would celebrate and distribute sweets if a male child was born. But if a girl was born, the relatives would disappear, the mother would cry, the families would ask for a discount," Rakh said.
More than 500 girls have been born since the start of the campaign in January 2012. In addition to waiving the delivery fee, the babies’ arrivals are celebrated with a cake and candles at the hospital.
A lot of time is spent understanding the family's concerns and easing their fears about having a daughter.
“We want to send out a message that a girl's birth is worth celebrating,” according to Rakh.
Rakh organises marches through Pune's streets, and doctors around the country have pledged their support for his campaign.
2. A neurosurgeon who aids children all around the worldDr Rahul Jandial, once dubbed “the world’s most dashing neurosurgeon”, the 44-year-old has made headway in the field, obtaining a grant worth USD $700,000 for research in metastatic cancer. The neurosurgeon is based in a hospital in Southern California, and has also hosted a National Geographic Channel broadcast on neurosurgery.
Jandial regularly travels to children's hospitals in underserved countries like Ukraine and Peru to perform surgical missions he organises through a non-profit organisation called International Neurosurgical Children's Association (INCA), which he is a founder and director of.
In underserved countries, doctors have to make use of the limited resources, Jandial says. He described a doctor in Lima who cut off the heel of a glove to save money because there were no rubber bands.
Through INCA, charity hospitals in these countries are provided with used medical equipment, and Jandial teaches local doctors important skills through surgical collaborations.
According to the neurosurgeon, the problems children have in these developing countries are the same as in developed countries, but the lack of facilities, transport and finances changes the situation altogether. There are more sick children than there are doctors and supplies, which is how his initiatives leave a bigger impact.
Currently, he has worked with four or five hospitals so far, and plans to extend the programme to children’s hospitals all around the world.
3. A urologist who provides free specialised healthcare to a nationIn the midst of a corrupted and mismanaged healthcare system in Pakistan, Dr Adib Rizvi leads a public sector hospital in Karachi which gives free specialised healthcare to millions. Rizvi aspires to transform Pakistan’s healthcare system into that of his inspiration, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
Most patients in Pakistan have nowhere to turn to if not for the free treatment at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplant (SIUT). Rizvi has seen patients pawn personal treasures and beg for healthcare. He argues that viable healthcare should be the right of every citizen in the first place.
Since the institute was established 40 years ago, SIUT has seen phenomenal expansion, emerging as a world-class kidney disease centre in Pakistan. Now the hospital boasts with performing the highest number of successful renal transplants, dialysis sessions and treatment of kidney stone disease anywhere in the world.
“I was inspired by the NHS. It showed me that providing free healthcare was doable,” says Rizvi.
Rizvi also pioneered organ transplant in Pakistan in 1985. To date, nearly 5,000 free organ transplants have been performed, in addition to 750 dialysis sessions on a daily basis.
“We started with an eight-bed ward 40 years ago. Today, we have 800 beds. Back then, we used to have a small room in this hospital. Today, we have two multi-storey buildings and three more are being built.” MIMS
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