Dr Amir Hussain Baluwala from Manchester, England is a Consultant Respiratory Physician at Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. He has gained extensive experience in managing patients with COVID infection and has become an expert in providing frontline care to those affected by the virus.
Amir was born in Chittagong, a port city and the second biggest city in Bangladesh. There are approximately 150 families of Dawoodi Bohra’s living in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
When the COVID pandemic first arrived in Bangladesh, there was a severe shortage of available doctors and hospital beds. People, including the Dawoodi Bohra community, struggled to get access to health care facilities, including doctor consultations and hospital beds. Members of the Bohra community were already aware of some of the potential problems faced by people in India and similar countries, where large numbers of Dawoodi Bohras reside.
Dr Amir and the Dawoodi Bohras’ healthcare committee held several discussions on how best to treat those affected by COVID infection. Together, they procured monitoring equipment, hired hospital nurses to make daily visits, and stockpiled necessary medications needed for management of COVID patients. With all these preparations made, the team was ready to begin their work.
The knowledge Dr Amir had gained from being an investigator on the RECOVERY trial – an international clinical trial to identify treatments that may be beneficial for people hospitalised with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 – was a major part of the team’s success.
In addition to this expertise, Dr Amir’s experience with NHS virtual wards was instrumental in providing advice 24/7 on all aspects of patient care management. Through these combined efforts, the team was able to come up with novel ways to ensure that patients received effective treatment while avoiding unnecessary trips to hospitals or clinics.
Managing COVID-infected community members at home through the Dawoodi Bohras’ healthcare committee has been an effective strategy for providing specialised care tailored to each patient’s individual needs while still ensuring safety protocols are being followed adequately. It has allowed for greater flexibility in providing care and support to those in need which have ultimately resulted in better outcomes for all involved during these difficult times. By prioritising community health through programs such as this, one can help ensure that everyone has access to quality healthcare no matter what their situation may be.
Seeing patients respond to advice and follow up on treatments, and make positive changes to their lifestyles, has been very rewarding for Dr Amir Hussain Baluwala. He has been able to bring about tangible changes in patients’ lives, offering hope in difficult times, while ensuring they are safe and well. Dr Amir was ably supported by the hard work of local healthcare volunteers, who gave up their own time and resources to help the community during a crisis.
Dr Amir said of the healthcare Committee, “I believe that it is through such acts of kindness and humanity that we can bring about positive change in our communities. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be part of such a great endeavour.”
He added, “Having experienced first-hand the impact that healthcare initiatives have on communities, I feel very proud to be associated with the organisation and am excited for its future projects. I look forward to continuing to work together in our mission to create healthier, happier futures for people around the world.”