Updated: May 10, 2021 10:18:17 am
Tata Memorial hospital has managed to import 5,000 oxygen concentrators from the US and distributed them to 60 hospitals across India. It has done so in collaboration with multiple doctors, US hospitals, philanthropists, NGOs, Air India and FedEX over the last 10 days.
On Sunday, an Air India flight in coordination with FedEx brought 3400 concentrators and 3 lakh masks to Mumbai, and another flight brought 400 concentrators to Delhi.
Dr C S Pramesh, director of Tata Memorial hospital, said they distributed the stock in 25 cities to hospitals based on their requirement for oxygen. Most of these are cancer hospitals which are part of the National Cancer Grid.
The process first began when a Los Angeles hospital wanted to donate 20 concentrators to India. “The concentrators were used during a Covid wave in LA. The hospital asked if we could donate in any country, and we arranged the transport for India. Slowly the donations started rising,” said US-based Dr Naresh Ramarajan.
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Gitika Srivastava, co-founder in Navya, a Tata hospital portal, said she reached out to the entrepreneur community, philanthropists and NGOs in the US and several agreed to contribute. “The number of concentrators we could procure through donations rose to 5000. A lot of people were willing to help us with logistics, transport and arranging flights to India. Air India agreed to take the stock,” she said.
She added that the Indo-American community worked together to collect funds.
Dr Pankaj Chaturvedi, Deputy Director of Epidemiology in TMC, said, “I have never dealt with customs, air lines or cargo. When the stock landed in Delhi the first time, the customer clearing agent had lost his father. He was still on call to help clear it. That is the kind of help everyone provided,” he said.
Dr Rajendra Badwe, director of Tata Memorial Centre, said the entire process moved so fast, it surprised everyone at the hospital. TMC plans to connect with all hospitals to which it donated the concentrators on a weekly basis to assess how many patients were put on oxygen support, update on the equipment usage, and whether it is of help to the hospital.
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