Times of India
20 May 2011
By Malathy Iyer
Doctors who worked in city public hospitals starred at a British medical awards ceremony, which is dubbed as the Oscars of the medical world, in London on Wednesday night. The British Medical Journal Awards 2011 chose Doctors For You as the ‘Best Medical Team in a Crisis Zone’ over the likes of international NGOs such as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and Save The Children. The other Indian star is Dr Subhashchandra Daga, who taught paediatrics in the state government–run J J group of Hospitals until a few years ago. He bagged the ‘Best Innovation in Healthcare Award’ for making the world’s most cost–efficient incubator for premature and low–birth weight babies. He reused Styrofoam boxes that transported vaccines as incubators to keep infants warm.
Doctors For You was among the first medical team to reach Bihar during its worst floods almost three years ago. Dr Ravikant Singh of Doctors For You, who was with KEM Hospital when he led a team of resident doctors to Bihar, told TOI from London that "we are ecstatic to win this international award". The team on Thursday dedicated its award to Dr Chandrakant Patil, a KEM Hospital doctor, who lost his life after being struck by lightning during the relief operations. "We will now set up a medical humanitarian disaster team dedicated to respond to any disaster in South East Asia. We have support from MSF as well as British Medical Journal," Singh said.
TEAM WORK: Doctors For You members celebrate their win. From left volunteer Mansi Jiwarajka, and doctors Vivek Chabra, Ravikant Singh, Rajat Jain, Vineet Maheshwari and Saket Jha
The BMJ citation noted that for over six months, a 110–member team of doctors and social workers treated 1.3 lakh patients in Bihar. "They arranged delivery of more than 18 tonnes of relief material with Indian Railways; provided doctors and medicines to 13 organizations; and educated local communities about hygiene," BMJ said.
Until a couple of days ago, the team was struggling to make it to London. Their initial visa application was rejected and the BMJ team had to step in to hasten the process.
Daga, who works in a private medical college in Talegaon, couldn’t go to London due to monetary reasons. BMJ Award judges said his work stood out because he innovated to save lives. His incubators, they said, not only kept babies warm in homes, it managed to protect them during long travel to hospitals. An elated Daga said: "Our incubator can help thousands of low–birth weight babies who are born at home in harsh weather conditions. The innovation is over 20 years old when I was with the J J group of hospitals. I am happy to note that it is finding acceptance across the country."
British Medical Journal Awards 2011 Best Innovation in Healthcare for Dr Subhashchandra Daga: A former teacher from J J & Cama Hospital of Mumbai, this paediatrician started using Styrofoam boxes to keep premature babies warm. His work has been held up as an example by medical peers and journals such as the Lancet. He is now with the Maharashtra Institute of Medical Education and Research’s hospital in Talegaon
Best Medical Team in Crisis Zone for Doctors For You
The NGO has 500 resident doctors from across India, but the concept was born in KEM Hospital four years ago. It trounced giant NGOs such as MSF and Save The Children whose budgets are equal to that of many state governments to win the award for their work in the 2008 Bihar floods
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