Indian-origin doctors in the UK are sending the largest consignment of advanced ventilators yet to India from Britain. This includes more than 100 non-invasive ventilators, which can support patients with oxygen without the need to incubate them.
A collective effort from doctors, UK based charities, philanthropists and the Indian community has meant that help worth over 5 million pounds is being air freighted to India. These include the ventilators that were used by Britain during its second wave between January 2021.
Kath Hope, Founder of British charity Hope 2 Sleep, arranged 1,000 oxygen cylinders, some 20,000 oximeters, air filters and other medical necessities. “We have had first-hand information of what was happening during the pandemic therefore when we saw what was happening in India it broke our hearts. We are emotional actually to be able to think we have the equipment actually even as charities raise money to be sent to people in India,” she said.
Airlines such as Qatar, British airways, Virgin are among others which are transporting this emergency equipment. Once it lands in Mumbai day after, industrialists who have businesses in India and the UK will take it from there. “We are grateful to Finolex industries because they are helping us with import licenses. And thanks to Ashok Leyland for giving us eight trucks to take this equipment into eight states,” said Ritu Chhabria, Board Member, Co-Founder, Mukul Madhav Foundation.
BAPIO UK or British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, founded in 1996, is a group of over 7,000 doctors, nurses and medical staff of Indian origin in the UK. They form an integral part of the National Health Service or the NHS in the UK. Doctors of BAPIO are helping Indian doctors by remotely offering tele-consultations and CT scan report readings.
“We are waking up at 4 am to do tele-consultation to support our colleagues back home who are working relentlessly. We are following their guidelines and working in partnership with them. The pain back home is hurting us.” said Dr Arvind Shah, Senior Paediatrician and Director of BAPIO UK.
Several Indian community groups in the UK has so far raised over 2 million pounds through online fundraisers in the last three weeks.
According to sources in the High Commission of India in London, Indians in the UK have donated close to a million pounds in the last two weeks to the PM-CARES fund.