The journey. The struggle.. The success…

Coming from a rural background and modest upbringing, getting into MBBS course at the prestigious SCB medical college, was the most talked about achievement in my village. But I had dreamt of being a gynaecologist, the inspiration being my maternal uncle Prof. Dr. S K Mahapatra one of the leading Gynaecologists of the state. Completion of MD from the same institute and rural posting meant that I was ready to serve in the capacity of Gynaecologist. Among the large varieties of patients I came across, the most intriguing and challenging for me were those with infertility. Never in my dreams had I thought that one fine morning I will land up at Christian Medical College, Vellore to pursue a higher training in reproductive medicine. The workload was enough and the training was excellent under the guidance of Prof. Dr. George Korula. My sincerity and dedication had ensured an offer from the institute to continue as a faculty and settle at Vellore.

However, I chose to tread a different path. Patients crossed 3 state boundaries to reach Vellore from eastern & north-eastern states of India. Can the same ethical practice, the work culture, the transparency in treatment be brought to my homeland, the state of Odisha?

After completing 4 years at IVF centre of CMC Vellore, I was back to a modest restart at my home state, trying my best to set up an exclusive Infertility unit. The first infertility unit among all medical colleges of the state was started at IMS & Sum hospital. Me, as the consultant and one laboratory technician to start with. Seeing very less number of patients per day made me nervous. Was the decision of coming back from an established department completely wrong? If the aspiration is there in you, if the will is there in you, it is absolutely certain that sooner or later you will succeed. God was kind. The numbers gradually improved as we had few IUI positive cases. The time I spent answering their queries, counselling them meant that the negative results were accepted better and patients came back for repeat procedures.

2012 became a land mark year when I could finally convince the management to invest in building an IVF unit at SUM hospital. We hit the bull’s eye when the first batch of IVF gave us 50 % success. We depended on embryologists from outside the state, who could afford to come to our centre for few days per month. This meant clustering of almost 20 cases in 3 days putting enormous stress on us the clinicians and the support staff. Cleaning, sterilisation and air quality maintenance became increasingly difficult and results started dropping over the next few months. Each negative result became a nightmare. Family life was getting affected as my mood at home suggested that results were not coming at the work place. This is the time when we discovered that Dr. Chidanand Dash who, till that time was assisting the visiting embryologists was confident enough to undergo training and take up the job independently. By the beginning of 2014, Dr. Chidanand was giving very good results. We limited the number of IVF cases per day but still were doing 30 cases per month. Thus laboratory quality was easy to maintain and results were back as per current Indian standards.

But popularity did not mean that there should be any compromise either in the quality or affordability. The desire to give a one stop solution from conception to delivery to neonatal care of the highest quality all under one roof was always there. With this aim I and Dr, Sujit Behera, one of the leading Gynaecologist and eminent Laparoscopic surgeon of the state, thought of building a centre for women’s health – “AHANA GYNAECCARE”. The infertility wing of Ahana – “FUTURE FERTILITY” will be catering to the problems of infertile couples. The team remains same with Dr. Chidanand Dash as the chief embryologist.

Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts. And the journey continues.

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