Changing lives of seemingly incurable children.
I have been a practicing pediatrician for over 38 years. I have been deeply interested in finding answers to why some children have recurring health problems - they keep falling sick, do not meet their growth milestones, and have frequent coughing
My journey started with doing my M.B.B.S. at Pt. Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences.
Then, during my housejob, I remember encountering dozens and dozens of cases where children would remain malnourished. I used to wonder why these children don't eat adequately and come at par with other children their age. They kept coming back over and over again, and even though every time we treated them and sent them back home in good health, they would come back with a similar problem a few weeks or months later.
We repeatedly failed in making these children gain weight despite nutrition changes and better diet. The failure in treating them was far more frequent than the joy of seeing them grow. Gradually, I also realized that these children were more prone to get infections. Respiratory infections like pneumonia were the most common. When these kids got sick, their response to treatment would be much slower than children that were healthy. At times, I also encountered antibiotic-failure in these children, which also lead to death.
The answer to these problems started brewing in my head during my post-graduation (DCH) in Sardar Patel Medical College Bikaner. I was beginning to realize that the most common reason behind a big chunk of these frequent health problem I was seeing wasn't poverty. It was multifactorial and unrecognized tuberculosis. However, I could only put the ideas to work after a few years into my practice.
Another challenge came knocking on the door, as the number of pediatric asthma cases in India shot up over the last few decades. Today, India has the second highest number of new cases of pediatric asthma in the world. While in the urban areas some of this could be attributed to pollution, in the rural areas it has been a struggle to understand the causation.
Regardless of the causation though, I am seeing impactful results in children with asthma as well. Whether it is a 14 year old kid who struggled with respiratory distress all his life and can now run out into the playground with his peers after only 2 months of treatment, or it is a 3.5 year old child who made a complete recovery from severe asthma within a year's treatment, the results are astonishing.
I believe with the correct treatment, all such health issues in children can be resolved. I have seen so in hundreds of cases myself. I am happy to take on the challenge for any child that comes through my hospital's doors.