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This Mumbai doctor's mission is to save lives on highways

Noting that the absence of trauma medical centres in western India delays medical care and causes deaths of many accident victims, KEM Hospital’s Dr Aadil Chagla has stepped up to the task of raising funds and building centres to fill this lacunae

While doctors from civic-run hospitals have usually been in the news for all the wrong reasons of late, a senior doctor from KEM hospital in Parel is sure to reinstate your faith in the community.

Dr Aadil Chagla
MAN ON A MISSION: Dr Aadil Chagla is chief of unit II of the neurosurgery department at KEM Hospital

Dr Aadil Chagla, chief of unit II of the neurosurgery department of the hospital, has been dedicating all his free time towards realising an ambitious and noble target he has set himself — setting up trauma centres and strengthening the infrastructure for emergency medical treatment along the highways in the western part of the country.

Dr Chagla has made it his personal mission to fill what he perceives to be a glaring lacunae in trauma and neurosurgerycare in western India. “My first goal is to set up a basic trauma centre in Maharashtra that has at least an emergency Operation Theatre (OT), two ICU beds and one ventilator, to start with. I have been liaising with locals who live next to the national highway, and also colleagues who have done similar work abroad,” said Dr Chagla.

Last year, the doctor set up the Shaukat C Chagla Memorial Trust, with the intention of raising funds to set up the trauma centre.

Dr Chagla decided to start the trust in memory of his father, after several patients and relatives offered donations to him for the treatment of unprivileged patients. “Though it will take years to set up a state-of-the-art neuroscience centre in western India, it can become a reality with some initiative from fellow doctors, citizens and some budgeting.

Such a centre will help provide treatment to patients within the golden hour. As of now, only Sion Hospital and Jogeshwari Trauma Centre are equipped to deal with emergency cases. Western India is lagging far behind in this area,” he added. He is planning to set up the first trauma centre in Malwan. So far, the trust has held medical camps, workshops and programmes in rural areas across the state.

Raising funds through theatre

In order to raise more funds for the trauma centres along the highways of Maharashtra and Goa, Dr Chagla has been organising the staging of a play called Over the Rainbow. The play will be staged on August 7 in Goa, and on the following day Mumbai.

An adaptation of the screenplay of the Wizard of the Oz, the show will be held at the Bhabha Auditorium in Sophia College at Cumballa Hill from 6.30 pm on August 8. The money raised through sale of tickets will go to the trust fund, to be used for the trauma centre.

“The performers, who include talented dancers and singers from different parts of the country, have not asked for any fees. They are performing free of cost for the initiative and our request to people attending the show is to donate to make better trauma and neurosurgery care available to the poor,” said Dr Chagla.

Get online to give!
To find out more, or to donate, log onto chaglamemorialtrust.org. Donor tickets are available on this website.

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