– Mohammed Atherulla Shariff
Co-founded by Dr. Mohammed Shafi Mekhri and Dr. Shivram in 1955, the prestigious Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute is now headed by the first Muslim lady Dr. Asima Banu.
Dr. Banu has served BMCRI for the past 23 years. She completed her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the same premier institute in the 1990s and joined the microbiology department as a faculty member. She has held various important postings, including head of the microbiology department at Bowring Hospital, convenor of the medical education unit and nodal officer of the COVID-19 ward in Victoria Hospital, in 2020. Victoria Hospital, as a part of Bangalore Medical College, became the first COVID hospital in Bangalore, India. Since then, they have treated over 8000 patients, providing medical care and rehabilitation to national and international patients.
Born and brought up in Chamarajpet, Bangalore, Dr. Banu was widely appreciated for her contributions during pandemic, especially for the personal patient care she provided. It was under her leadership that efforts were made to make the patients feel at home, and the hospital provided amenities such as electric kettles, and pedestal fans to patients in isolation wards. She also put in additional effort to make sure that all patients were provided with juice tetra packs, nail cutters, toiletries, and other items.
She had also started a WhatsApp group with all her patients so that they could message her directly. This had created a direct communication between her and the patients, thus meeting their needs promptly. Their biggest concerns were pregnant women and the goal was to make sure no new-born child contracts the virus and we also didn’t want to lose any new mothers to COVID, she recalls.
Dr. Asima was able to establish a Laboratory at Trauma care centre and also make it into a 24/7 emergency lab service. She was part of the team commissioning and running the Trauma Care Centre. She also served as co convener of the medical education unit and commissioned the simulation centre of BMCRI in 2018.