Dr Atul Shah
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon; Former Professor and Head of Plastic Surgery, J J Hospital

Winning this award marks the culmination of my life’s work towards the elimination and removal of stigma attached to leprosy, illustrating my contributions towards the holistic vision of great leaders like Gandhi, Mother Teresa and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, President of the UAE, that no human should suffer from a preventable disease.

Dr Atul Shah is a renowned plastic surgeon and pioneer of new tools and techniques to offer improved care to people affected by leprosy.

Dr Shah is celebrated for developing the ‘self-care kit’, a portable pack that allows ulcers to be dressed and cared for at home and in other informal settings, reducing the need for travel to health clinics. The kit has been used in over 80,000 cases, helping extend care to those in remote, rural and low-income locations. He is also recognized for designing simple surgical techniques, such as the ‘lasso procedure’, that do not require specialized training or tools and can be delivered in resource-scarce communities. These tools and techniques have been integrated into India’s National Leprosy Program and are now widely used in leprosy care.

Throughout his career, Dr Shah has organized free surgical camps, extending care to more than 10,000 leprosy patients and training over 250 surgeons. This work earned him a blessing from Mother Teresa and the prestigious International Gandhi Award in 2017. He continues to serve as a guest lecturer and consultant to leprosy care projects, traveling around the world to teach his techniques.