Hargovind Laxmishanker Trivedi, one of India’s most respected doctors in the field of transplant medicine, passed away on Wednesday aged 87 in Ahmedabad.
Trivedi had been struggling with Parkinson’s disease for more than two years and had been treated for liver and neurological illnesses over a period of several months, two-and-a-half of which necessitated that he be on a ventilator. His passing was met with numerous tributes and reflections on his lengthy career.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to write “Dr. HL Trivedi was a stalwart of the medical world. He made a mark as an excellent doctor, known for his dexterity and compassion. His work in nephrology will ensure better health for several people in the times to come.” Other tributes were paid by policymakers, government officials, and members of the medical community.
Dr Trivedi was born in Charadva in pre-independence Gujarat on August 31, 1932, studying at Dharamsinghji College in Rajkot between 1951 and 1953 before obtaining his medical degree from the B. J. Medical College in Ahmedabad, studying there between 1953 and 1963 and serving there as a professor. Trivedi subsequently travelled to the United States where he trained as a nephrologist, including a stint at the Cleveland Clinic, before working in Canada’s Ontario province for eight years.
In 1977, Trivedi returned to India following a visit to his home state and established his reputation as one of the country’s most respected nephrologists. He established the Institute of Kidney Diseases and Research Centre (IKDRC) in Ahmedabad and played instrumental roles in the establishment of the Gujarat University of Transplantation Sciences; the Gujarat Dialysis Programme; and pioneering research in the field of stem cell transplantation. Trivedi is credited by some reports with performing 5,000 transplant surgeries during his career. It was at the IKDRC that Dr Trivedi was being treated at the time of his death.
Kidney disease affects around one in every ten Indians, with almost five lakh in need of dialysis. In 2016, it was reported that the number of kidney disease patients had doubled in the preceding fifteen years. As such, Dr Trivedi’s pioneering work in the field of kidney care has enabled treatment and lays a foundation for future innovations.
In recognition of his contributions to medicine in the country, Trivedi was awarded India’s fourth-highest civilian honour – the Padma Shri – in 2015. He is survived by his wife, Sunita.