A letter from the president
On Jan. 4, 2019, Anders and I set off on an exciting adventure with a threefold mission:
Surgical lighting is one of the most critical and under-provided healthcare needs in the world. LIfebox Foundation (www.lifebox.org), founded and chaired by renowned author, Dr. Atul Gawande, has recently published a series of medical articles and research noting that “at least 40% of surgical providers in LIMCs (low and middle-income countries) operate with inadequate or substandard lighting. This equates to an estimated 404,000 surgical provides, 288,000 surgeons and 116,000 obstetricians.”1
Enova Illumination, a Minneapolis-based medical device company, is focused on improving the healthcare and medical outcomes throughout the world by providing medical devices that “help doctors see better so they can perform better”. As part of Enova’s corporate mission, we are committed to supporting the work of mission doctors by donating surgical headlights during their volunteer efforts.
Over the next two months, we (Anders Berglund and I) have begun an exciting journey to explore and better understand the medical infrastructure and healthcare needs of a number of developing and underdeveloped countries – specifically India, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Nigeria, Liberia, and Tanzania.
During our travels, we will be meeting with doctors, administrators, nurses and other healthcare professionals on the frontlines of medical care. A key part of our exploration will be visiting multiple mission hospitals in need of better surgical lighting and will be donating our surgical headlights to these hospitals.
Finally, we will be attending and exhibiting our products at the Arab Health Show in Dubai, UAE. The Arab Health Show is the largest medical exhibition in the Middle East. During this conference, we will be meeting with healthcare distributors with the goal of establishing greater access and distribution of our surgical headlights, loupes, and cameras within these regions.
Follow our travel stories and see images from the trip on Facebook, Instagram, and www.goenova.com.
1 Lifebox Foundation. 2018. “ Lifebox Light – Target Product Profile”
Surgeons in India test Enova's PLT and XLT headlights
Anders’ Story from U.N. Metha Hospital in India
Ahmedabad lies close to the center of the western Indian state of Gujurat. With an urban population of over 6 million people, it remains the largest city in Gujurat, despite no longer being the state’s capital. Like many cities in India, it has a rich and ancient history, and contains many spectacular monuments. On the banks of the Sabarmati River on the north side of town lies an Ashram founded by Mahatma Ghandi. It was here that Ghandi focused energy on his philosophies of non-violence. The city also contains countless temples and mosques, including the intricate and beautiful Hutheesing Jain temple crawling with monkeys.
However, in the modern era Ahmedabad is distinguishing itself in the area of healthcare. Despite a lower population than other Indian cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, and Hyderabad, Ahmedabad is on track to finish developments for what will become the largest cardiac hospital in the world. By summer of 2019, four new buildings will be completed at the U.N. Metha Cardiac Hospital bringing its bed total to well over 1,000. Aiming to complete at least 12,000 cardiac surgeries per year, the hospital will outpace every other on earth.
What is extra incredible about the future of Metha hospital is its designation. Many large and successful hospitals in India are private, for-profit establishments. U.N. Metha hospital, however, is a government funded public hospital. This means over 80% of the surgeries performed are performed free of cost to the patients through India’s public healthcare system. Citizens living below the Indian poverty line get life-saving treatment under some of the best cardiac surgeons in the world, without selling their assets or going into debt.
To make these dreams a reality, the hospital requires excellent talent. The cardiac team includes 45 cardiac surgeons, 60 cardiac anesthetists, and more than 70 interventional cardiologists. Leading the team is a surgeon named Dr. Chirag Doshi. Dr. Chirag (they go by first names here) believes in every person’s right to health and wellness and has worked to become a well-known and highly respected surgeon in his field. Performing 4-5 surgeries per day, and helping with the hospital’s expansion, Dr. Chirag is busy beyond belief. But as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be coming to the opening of the new hospital wing at Metha, it is the work of people like Dr. Chirag and his team that will make Modi proud.
As part of the Enova Missions Foundation, Enova Illumination will be donating headlights to the doctors and surgeons dedicate to helping those in need. Because of U.N. Metha Hospital’s extensive work on patients living below the poverty line, Enova Illumination donated an XLT-225A LED surgical headlight to the cardiac surgical team. As the hospital grows in Ahmedabad, our only hope is that our product can continue to help save the lives of many to come.