Four hundred oxygen cylinders will soon be flying out of Gatwick Airport to Hyderabad city in India thanks to the fundraising efforts of The Montefiore Hospital’s orthopaedic surgeon Mr Yousufuddin Shaik.
For the past month, the consultant in foot and ankle surgery has been raising funds and working with Medical Aid International to refurbish the oxygen concentrators which will help save lives as India battles the COVID pandemic.
“We have had donations from family, friends, and work colleagues, it has been amazing,” said Mr Shaik, whose 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 raised almost £15,000 through a JustGiving page which will ensure 400 cylinders plus 400,000 face masks and also some CPAP machines (continuous positive airway pressure therapy) will be sent directly to Hyderabad – one flight leaving this weekend and the second next week.
Mr Shaik is in daily contact with his alumni of Deccan College of Medical Science in Hyderabad and a team of doctors there are working with local charities to ensure the supplies reach the right people.
“There have been two problems out in India, one is the lack of oxygen and the other is the black market trade of oxygen cylinders. Together myself, my colleagues and local charities have put in stringent measures to makes sure these cylinders 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 one day a week 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 Royal Sussex County Hospital.
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