Hove surgeon sends 400 oxygen concentrators to home city in India
Four hundred oxygen concentrators will soon be flying out of Gatwick Airport to Hyderabad city in India thanks to the fundraising efforts of a Hove surgeon.
For the last month Yousufuddin Shaik, orthopaedic surgeon at The Montefiore Hospital in Hove, has been raising funds and working with local charities and Medical Aid International to refurbish the oxygen concentrators which will help save lives as India battles the COVID pandemic.
Mr Shaik said: “We have had donations from family, friends, and work colleagues, it has been amazing.”
His relatives still live in his home city of Hyderabad, including his parents and his parents-in-law.
“I have been very concerned for my family, but when you keep seeing those video clips on television of what is happening in India and people dying just because of a lack of oxygen, I had to do something,” he said.
He raised almost £15,000 through a JustGiving page and collaborating with other charity organisations, which will ensure 400 concentrators plus 400,000 face masks and 10 CPAP machines (continuous positive airway pressure therapy) will be sent directly to Hyderabad.
One flight leaves this weekend and the second next week.
Mr Shaik is in daily contact with his Deccan Alumni Association in Hyderabad, a team of doctors working with local charities to ensure the supplies reach the right people.
He has also had the support here from MAAHIR, an organisation of professionals from the Hyderabad area who live in the UK.
“There have been two problems out in India, one is the lack of oxygen and the other is the black market trade of oxygen concentrators,” he said.
“Together myself, my colleagues and local charities have put in stringent measures to makes sure these concentrators reach the people and the hospitals which need them.
“Four hundred oxygen cylinders is not a lot, but each one will help more than one life.”
Alongside his charitable work, Mr Shaik has a clinic at The Montefiore Hospital in Hove, specialising in trauma injuries to the foot and ankle and keyhole surgery for sports injuries.
He is also a consultant at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospital.