The Twin Pillars behind the Success of Samad


Thiruvananthapuram: For the doctor couple, Dr. K G Madhavan Pillai and Dr. Sathy M Pillai, it has been a fruitful 28-year-long journey together, fulfilling the dreams of countless childless couples, from within Kerala and outside of having progenies. As one of the pioneers of IVF and infertility treatment in Kerala, the couple and their institution, Samad IVF Hospital, enjoy a prominent position among the medical fraternity all over the State specialising in infertility treatment.

The very idea of Dr. Sathy and Dr. Pillai, who dedicated their first hospital set up in Attingal in 1989 to gynaecology, obstetrics and infertility, was to provide affordable healthcare to women. Back then the market potential of IVF remained largely unexplored and it existed as an uncharted territory in the field of medical science in Kerala. Needless to say, there were very few players who could move ahead and tap the IVF market in Kerala. Dr. Pillai, who specialised in dermatology, was the brain behind Samad Hospital and Dr. Sathy has been its backbone ever since inception.

“When we started-off, Samad was conceived as a women’s health clinic. Infertility treatment was just one of the specialties we offered. IVF was a very advanced form of infertility treatment and it was Dr. Rajan, who retired as an HOD from Kottayam Medical College, who advised us to start IVF treatment here,” Dr. Sathy recollects the initial days of Samad IVF Hospital.

Dr. Sathy says it was Dr. Pillai who did all the planning which paved the way for the establishment of Samad as one of most reputed IVF centres in Kerala. “When we started Samad IVF in Thiruvananthapuram in 1999, it was the second such centre dedicated exclusively to IVF and infertility treatment,” say Dr. Pillai, who is the Managing Director of Samad IVF Hospital.

Dr. Sathy had to resign from government service as she had to dedicate her energy and time for running Samad. “We did receive a lot of response in the beginning itself. In that sense it was a success,” she adds. Dr. Sathy is also the Chairperson of Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction (ISAR), a collective of doctors and lab technicians.

Samad crossed its first major milestone in the year 2000 when the first IVF baby was born, just one year after the hospital was setup. Over the years, the doctor couple expanded Samad clinics to three major locations in south Kerala. Dr. Pillai hopes to take Samad IVF to the field of research aimed at unearthing the genetic cause behind infertility in human beings. “In most cases, the cause of infertility remains unknown. One area of IVF treatment which has not seen much progress in Kerala is research and development,” he says.

If the genetic causes of infertility in humans could be successfully identified, suitable treatment could be devised and made available to patients without much delay. “So, that is one area we are planning to explore soon,” Dr. Pillai sums up.