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Saturday, Nov 23, 2019

Mumbai doctor starts Ramzan fundraiser to help 700 poor people undergo life-saving heart surgery

Mumbai city news: Dr Hamdulay plans to fund 100 bypass surgeries, 100 angioplasties, and 500 angiographies for the underprivileged

mumbai Updated: Jul 12, 2017 00:24 IST
Gayle Sequeira
Gayle Sequeira
Hindustan Times
Dr Zainul Hamdulay, director of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery at Global Hospitals in Parel.
Dr Zainul Hamdulay, director of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery at Global Hospitals in Parel.(HT)

Meet the Mumbai cardiac surgeon with a big heart. Dr Zainul Hamdulay, director of cardiothoracic and vascular surgery at Global Hospitals in Parel, is attempting to raise Rs3.37 crore during the month of Ramzan, so he can facilitate heart surgeries for underprivileged people who cannot afford them.

Dr Hamdulay has an ambitious target — using the money raised, he plans to fund 100 bypass surgeries, 100 angioplasties, and 500 angiographies.

“Using the best stents on the market brings the cost of an angioplasty up to a lakh. A bypass usually costs Rs2 lakh and an angiography costs around Rs15,000. Our foundation has tied up with Milaap, India’s largest crowdfunding site, to raise money so the underprivileged or those below the poverty line can avail of treatment for free,” he said.

“Dr Hamdulay is saving lives”
  • “People like Dr Hamdulay are the real heroes. He is saving lives by making expensive treatments, such as bypass surgeries, angioplasties and angiographies, affordable. We are proud to be associated with his foundation,” said Mayukh Choudhary, CEO and co-founder of Milaap, India’s largest crowdfunding site.

The founder of Hamdulay Heart Foundation, a Nagpada-based non-profit organisation that treats cardiac ailments among the poor, the doctor said this was the first time he was attempting to raise such a large sum. “Since its inception in 2010, the foundation usually manages to raise around Rs1.5 crore over the course of a year, but this is the first time we are trying to raise so much in just a month,” he said.

So far, the foundation has raised Rs5.10lakh over 17 days. Donations range from Rs500 to Rs10,000. “As it is Ramzan, most of our donors are Muslims who are contributing their zakat — 2.5% of their income,” said Dr Hamdulay.

Here’s how the process works — people approach the foundation seeking subsidised treatment for their heart ailments. Those who need either an angioplasty or an angiography are referred to Habib Hospital in Dongri, where the foundation has set up a cath lab — an examination room fitted with diagnostic imaging equipment that helps doctors see the heart’s arteries and chambers. Those who need a bypass are referred to Global Hospitals.

One of these people is Govandi resident Akbar Sheikh, who will undergo the operation on Friday. “My father had a heart attack last month. Tests showed that he had four blockages. The cost of the surgery was Rs2.10 lakh, but the most I could scrape together was Rs50,000. Thanks to the foundation, my father will be able to undergo surgery in the next two days,” said his son Abu.

Afzal Khan, who has been handling the foundation’s digital operations for the past three years, said last year’s donors helped fund the surgeries of 263 poor patients and screen more than 500 for heart disease.

The foundation has also helped 55-year-old Munira Begum, who underwent an angioplasty on Tuesday. “After she was diagnosed with coronary artery disease, doctors advised her to undergo a single vessel angioplasty. The surgery costs Rs1.30 lakh, but we had only Rs15,000,” said her son Abdul Salam.

Khan said Begum’s hospital bills will be settled by the end of the month.

“I set up the foundation in memory of my mother, who was at the forefront of several social initiatives. She wanted me to do something to help the poor. This is my way of giving back,” said Dr Hamdulay.