Dr. Divakar is a name synonymous with an unending passion to heal. In the medical fraternity not only in India but the world over, she is a force to reckon with. She has dedicated her life to healing and making healthcare accessible to the underserved. She is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with over 3 decades of experience and expertise in women’s healthcare in India. All through her medical career, she has worked hard to improve healthcare and the welfare of women. She has over the last two-and-a-half decades, been a game-changer in healthcare, establishing new benchmarks, and standards and touching women’s lives in the process.
Dr. Divakar completed her MD at Wadia Hospital in Mumbai in 1989 and soon after that, she started Divakar Speciality Hospital in Bangalore with her husband Dr. GV. Divakar – a well-renowned ophthalmologist. The hospital is a dedicated center of excellence for women’s healthcare. It was established with the aim to be a single-window solution for women’s healthcare. It offers a range of services for new-borns, girls, and women of all ages. Under her leadership, the hospital has become synonymous with the best quality care. But she didn’t stop there. With the kind of impact that she wanted to make, Dr. Divakar wanted to establish something bigger and reach out to more people. She is deeply passionate about the inadequacies in the Indian healthcare system especially when it comes to young girls.
ARTIST AT WORK
A growing child or a young girl faces a lot of physical changes and it renders a lot of confusion. They want answers and they need trusted sources for that. However, there aren’t enough healthcare providers who are available to give the right guidance. Add to that the stigma attached to even asking questions about one’s physical body and you’ve got a confused girl probably going to the wrong resources for information. Dr. Divakar wanted to change this. In order to foster adequate adolescent care, she launched Asian Research and Training Institute for Skill Transfer – ARTIST. Through ARTIST, Dr. Divakar has been training all the frontline healthcare providers to provide well-researched and medically correct information. Under this program, O&G specialists are trained and upskilled through short and smart modules. Also, the postgraduates, medical officers, staff nurses, health counsellors, health educators, and general womenfolk of all ages and given trainings and knowledge-based seminars to make them more aware. It imparts skill transfer trainings throughout the country in various phases. Dr. Divakar has brought together a solid team of expert healthcare professionals, leaders of professional organisations, key opinion makers, researchers, and academicians, leading clinicians in practice – a mix of the best resources under one umbrella to design and impart these trainings. It is a one-of-a-kind program that is helping adolescent girls all across the country.
There is also an institute namely ARTIST Skill Gurukul in Bangalore that aims to improve the capabilities and competencies of Obstetrics & Gynaecologists and healthcare providers in India. Under Dr. Divakar’s guidance the specialists at ARTIST have extensively surveyed the Knowledge, Attitudes & Practices (KAPs) amongst the ObGyns across India, and have been able to gather startling facts and identify the gaps in KAPs. They use this well-versed knowledge to design trainings, programs and modules that imparts education wherever there is a gap. Trainers at ARTIST ensure that the training is not just about the certificates but it is about the competency. One can be ensured that a certified professional from ARTIST is competent in that particular skill before the end of the course because the training and retraining and the role-plays and the mock drills and rehearsals and everything that involves in order to make sure that the skill is adequately and completely transferred without compromising the quality of the training. The spectrum of training encompasses basic ObGyn skills to recent advances inclusive of endoscopy, ultrasound, and infertility with a foundation of evidence-based protocols.
ARTIST also gives out emergency care and medical aid to women during childbirth. In association with Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), ARTIST has been working to implement ‘Manyata,’ an initiative that brings together local health practitioners to improve their ability to deliver better, respectful, and quality care services to pregnant mothers during and after childbirth. From the first stage of enrolling manpower to conducting skill transfer (onsite and digital) to getting caregivers up to speed to apply for certifications provided by FOGSI, ARTIST handles everything. It is an ambitious project that has already certified over 800 centers for following clinical protocol and having skilled staff and others.
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
Visionary and professional par excellence, Dr. Divakar has been awarded time and again for her unparallel work. In 2015, she was awarded FIGO Women Achievers Award 2015 in recognition of her international and domestic contribution to promoting the development of science and scientific research in the fields of gynaecology and obstetrics. She has also been awarded the very prestigious ‘Life Time Achievement’ Award from the Governing Council of Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group India (DIPSI).
She is also the recipient of Global Award for Music Therapy by Medscape India award for her outstanding service to women’s health. She was conferred the social entrepreneurship award by USAIDS and MSD for Mothers. However, her work is way beyond her awards and recognition. She has held a number of senior and esteemed positions at multiple institutions and medical centers and has been the guiding light to teach the best practices in healthcare.
She has played a lead role in conducting outreach services including anaemia detection and treatment, deworming, menstrual hygiene, health awareness camps for 50,000 girls every year for the last 10 years. Apart from this, she has also been instrumental in extending community services to Primary Health Care Centers in collaboration with State Government and Karuna Trust to provide healthcare facilities in rural India.