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Global Health Thought Leadership

MedShare Disaster Relief – Partnering to Provide Oxygen to Combat COVID-19 in India

By Charles Redding, CEO & President

This past spring the country of India underwent a massive surge in COVID cases, almost exclusively as a result of the rapid spread of the Delta variant.  The numbers spiked to more than 400,000 daily cases this past spring and experts estimated that the true figure could be more than 20 times greater.  The crisis was heightened due to a lack of oxygen equipment in local hospitals. The daily demand for supplemental medical oxygen rose to roughly 12 times what was needed pre-COVID-19 times, with a catastrophic impact during March, April, and early May, 2021. Despite being a challenging country in which to deliver aid, MedShare was able to organize several emergency air shipments of oxygen related equipment, including oxygen concentrators, ventilators, nasal cannula and VPAP machines.  

The most critically needed Item to sustain the lives of many patients stricken with COVID-19 was medical oxygen. In response to this critical need,  MedShare coordinated the delivery of two oxygen generator plants in partnerships with Kaiser Permanente, the UPS Foundation, and PATH India.  Kaiser Permanente donated two Deployable Oxygen Concentration System (DOCS) 500 oxygen generator systems to MedShare.  The UPS Foundation funded the flight and PATH India cleared the systems through customs, delivered them to the hospitals, installed the units and provided training to local healthcare staff.  

District Hospital Barabanki and District Hospital Hapur, both located in the Province of Uttar Pradesh, and both serving as 100 Bed COVID hospitals during the outbreak, receive the two units.  This partnership delivered critical, life-saving oxygen to India at a time when the country was in dire need.  

PATH India provide the following time-lapse video showing the process of installing the Deployable Oxygen Concentration System (DOCS).  

Addressing India’s Oxygen Shortage Video

Since the meteoric spike in COVID-19 cases to 400,000 a day and over 4,000 deaths a day back in the Spring, India’s average daily COVID-19 cases are now down to 37,000 and 284 deaths, due to Increased vaccinations and hospital capacity to care for patients.  The oxygen provided helped sustain Ives during this period and continues to provide a life-line for those requiring critical care.

 

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