The second wave of Covid-19 caused havoc in Bangalore. Bangalore was leading the cities in India with the highest number of active Covid cases. In fact, 1 in 10 of India’s cases was in Bangalore. (Covid19india.org). When the system collapses, citizens rise to the occasion. Kimberly Nambiar, Mrinalini Nair and Tanya Jairaj, three Bangaloreans, had their first conversation about how they could protect their hometown when the cases were at their peak in Bangalore in the month of May. Understanding that every breath matters (people were dying because of lack of Oxygen concentrators), they partnered with Aarogya Seva, a humanitarian volunteer organization, powered by doctors to create OxygenAid. We speak to them about the initiative and the situation now.
Give us a sense of the situation now in Bangalore?
Bangalore has the highest number of active Covid-19 cases of any city in India. While hospital beds are opening up, ICU beds are still inaccessible. Urban hospitals cater to the needs of not just the urban population but must support the demand of the city’s surrounding areas. Covid-19 has spread from the city rapidly into rural areas where cases are growing exponentially and death rates are peaking. Hospitals are inaccessible, and people are battling life-threatening Covid-19 symptoms without any access to proper medical treatment.
The cases are declining however the death rate is still high, initially, it was the lack of oxygen…
Patients are being discharged too quickly from hospitals to make space for more critical situations. OxygenAid is supplying oxygen concentrators for aftercare to keep patients on a steady path to recovery and reduce returns to the hospital that will tax the overloaded medical system.
When and how did you start this and what kind of response do you do see
Understanding that every breath matters, at each step, the team worked quickly:
May 4th | INCEPTION in response to the second wave of the pandemic in Karnataka, OxygenAid was conceived with the goal of securing medical equipment to help people with Covid-19.
May 8th | FUNDRAISING OxygenAid successfully generated donations ($72,255 | ₹53,11,461*) from all over the world in less than three weeks. OxygenAid ensures that every rupee or dollar donated goes to life-saving medical equipment for the frontlines.
May 19th | DEPLOYED CONCENTRATORS OxygenAid received the first shipment of concentrators which were immediately distributed and out of stock almost immediately. In 2.5 weeks since we deployed the first oxygen concentrator, we have helped close to 60 people get prescribed oxygen for their recovery to their homes. OxygenAid has now built a library of 100 concentrators that are actively being deployed to post-hospital patients with low oxygen saturation rates.
And we’re just getting started…
Good Samaritans, citizens have come forward to help each other..tell us more about your work
Understanding that every breath matters and a pressing need for information directly from the frontlines, OxygenAid is supported by Aarogya Seva, a humanitarian organization, powered by doctors, dedicated to provide medical equipment to the frontlines and serve patients in urgent need. Led by fearless founder Dr. Dayaprasad G Kulkarni, Aarogya Seva has distributed much-needed medical equipment including oxygen concentrators (nearly 1,000) and ventilators to hospitals for the underserved in Bangalore and in rural regions throughout India.
OxygenAid has also received support from incredibly generous partners including KYNKYNY, Gina’s Kitchen, Mallya Aditi International School, Cotton World, 21st Century Yoga, and other Bangalore businesses and networks.
There is a sense of helplessness, give us a few examples..
“You were the only one to pick up my call” – SCHINDANANDA
“I was crying, I was asking, I was begging people to find Oxygen concentrator. I cannot afford one. I found OxygenAid. Thank you for the help you provided my family.” – TASNEEM
“OxygenAid immediately helped and arranged the concentrator. It was life-saving.” – ARIFULLA
“Our family will never forget your support and the concern you have shown. We will pray for this organization.” – LINGAIH
“I would like to thank the donors who provided the oxygen concentrators. Thank you to the OxygenAid team, because of
you, we are still alive” – MANJUNATH