Hyderabad: Protective gear for Covid-19 pandemic, like masks, eyeglasses, gowns, and gloves are limited in number and expensive. The shortage of PPE kits for frontline healthcare workers has inspired some doctors in Hyderabad city to look out for options of crowdfunding.
The aim of the initiative is to control the exponential growth of the pandemic like in other states amongst the healthcare workers. Our medical fraternity needs to be protected while handling Covid-19 patients.
Here are some stories of how people are garnering support online from thousands of people to address the need of protective gear for people who need it the most:
Dr M. Hrishikesh Giri, Assistant Professor in the Department of Child Psychiatry, Niloufer Hospital in Hyderabad, has started an online fundraiser campaign for PPE kits. His friends, Dr. Naga Kishore from UK and Dr. Sunil Esampalli from Australia, gave him the idea to start his own crowdfunding campaign so that people could directly donate and help the doctors working in Covid hospitals. Together, they started an online fundraiser on crowdfunding platform for emergencies, Milaap.
These alumni from Gandhi Medical College 1997 batch have already utilised 2.5 lakh fund from Milaap out of the Rs 3.7 lakh that people readily came forward to give. They have purchased over 200 PPE kits and delivered them to PG students in MGM Warangal Hospital, Hyderabad Chest Hospital, Gandhi Hospital, TJUDA members and ESI Hospital.
Dr. M. Hrishikesh Giri said, “Cost of each N95 or equal mask is around Rs 200 to Rs 400 and the PPE kit is ranging from Rs 1,100 – Rs 1,600. As the requirement is high and masks and PPE are scarce due to this pandemic, we could procure only few but we need more. We decided to distribute PPE kits to PG students because they are the ones who spend most of their time with the patients during treatment.”
The group of doctors has also ordered 500 of the finest N95 masks. Once delivered, they will distribute them to PG students and nurses in government hospitals.
Dr. Kalyan Chakravarthy, who works at Rainbow Hospital in Hyderabad, has also started a similar fundraiser understanding the efforts of doctors at public hospitals. He started an online fundraising campaign on Milaap to supply PPE kits to doctors working in the government hospitals. The fundraiser has already raised Rs 2 Lakh. He is targeting about 2,500–3,000 kits through this fundraiser. Dr. Kalyan has identified JIPMER Hospital, Puducherry and Govt hospitals in Hyderabad as beneficiaries.
Dr. Kalyan says, “If doctors are infected in these difficult times, not only do we lose the workforce, but they may also carry the risk of infecting other healthy people, both patients, and their own family members.”
Sarvodaya Mitra Mandali, an NGO, in partnership with Bizongo, an auto-replenishment platform for packaging goods has also started an online fundraiser. The partnership is to supply essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits to healthcare workers who are fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Bizongo is dynamically mapping the demand and supply live on their platform. They are using real-time inputs to prioritise the demand where the need is most urgent. They are also doing a real-time supply mapping based on the availability of stocks,” said the management of the company.
The funds raised have already been utilized to provide medical supplies i.e. N95 Masks, 3-ply masks, face shields and hand sanitizers to the medical staff at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital, Warangal.