Bill Gates lauds India's Dr. Mathew Varghese

India

28 Jan 2018

Dr. Mathew Varghese is Bill Gates' real-life hero

With his hammer, measuring tape, and a goniometer to measure angles precisely, orthopaedic expert Dr. Mathew Varghese looks more like a carpenter than a doctor.

And now, Dr. Varghese's work with polio patients in Delhi has caught the attention of Microsoft founder Bill Gates who mentioned the doctor in post on real-life heroes in his blog GatesNotes.

Here's what he wrote.

Dr. Varghese

Dr. Varghese runs India's only polio ward

In his blog post, Bill Gates mentioned Dr. Varghese among five people from around the world who he thought were real-life heroes.

At St. Stephen's Hospital in old Delhi, Dr. Varghese runs its only polio ward.

While there have been no new cases of polio in India since it was eliminated in 2011, thousands of survivors still live with polio's impacts.

Dr. Varghese hopes to inspire the youth

"The recognition doesn't make a difference to what I do. But yes, I hope that it will inspire more doctors and the youth to take up the cause of assisting in the rehabilitation of polio patients," said the modest Dr. Varghese.

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Polio ward

Dr. Varghese hopes to see a day with no patients

Dr. Varghese provides reconstructive surgery for polio patients.

The polio ward was started in 1987, and when polio was hyper-endemic (with over 200,000-400,000 cases reported annually) in India in the early 1990s, the ward remained mostly full.

Now, annual number of surgeries in the ward has come down to 200.

Dr. Varghese looks forward to the day when there will be no more patients.

Rehabilitation

Dr. Varghese provides follow-up care for decades

Dr. Varghese provides follow-up care for decades

Dr. Varghese also spends substantial amounts of time rehabilitating and looking after his patients after surgery.

During a recent interview, Dr. Varghese was examining a patient called Archana who had come to him for surgery almost a decade ago at the age of 14.

Like Archana, many others still visit Dr. Varghese even after decades for follow-up treatment.

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