Iftikher Mahmood, MD, FAAP
Dr. Mahmood felt that there was tremendous unnecessary suffering being endured by the poor and sick mothers and children in Bangladesh. He always dreamed of building a charitable hospital to help them. While visiting Bangladesh in 1999 he decided to establish a charitable hospital in his home town of Cox’s Bazar to provide medical care to the most neglected people in the community.
Dr. Mahmood established HOPE Foundation for Women & Children of Bangladesh, Inc.’ in 1999 in the USA as a charitable organization whose mission is to provide healthcare to the poor and needy mothers and children in Bangladesh.
In January 2000, the outpatient clinic of Cox’s Bazar Hospital for Women and Children was opened in a rented room with one doctor providing medical care to the poor people of the area. The outpatient clinic ran successfully for 5 years during which time over 60,000 patient visits were made.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mahmood began a fundraising campaign among friends, colleagues and the expatriate Bangladeshi community in America to raise money to build a fully functioning hospital that could provide more services to the poor.
During 2004 a series of fundraising events helped raise money to build a 40-bed hospital in a rural area just outside Cox’s Bazar. The hospital construction began in 2004 and the hospital was inaugurated in April 2005. This hospital provides much needed service to the community at nominal expense and free to those who cannot afford to pay. A total of eight additional satellite clinics were established in nearby rural villages to better serve those who cannot afford to travel to the hospital for varying reasons, as well as refer patients with more complicated and severe cases to the hospital where they can receive the appropriate treatment they need. HOPE Foundation now boasts several specialized care projects and aims to provide even more in the near future.
HOPE hospital was built with a vision of emerging as a major healthcare center for the area’s needy. HOPE is serving over 25,000 patients a year and aims to continue growing to reach as many destitute people as possible.
Dr. Mahmood lives in Miami, Florida with his wife and three children.