My name is Rishav Gupta and I graduated in 2010 from IIT Delhi with a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering. I joined Indian Administrative Services (IAS) in the state of Madhya Pradesh in 2014 and am currently serving as the Additional Collector in Mandsaur District of Western Madhya Pradesh. Mandsaur is a small district in rural Madhya Pradesh with a population of 1,400,000 people. You can read more about Mandsaur at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandsaur.
Mandsaur has a 300 bed District Hospital with 96 points of Central Oxygen Line. Besides that, we have 10 peripheral hospitals (Community Health Centers and Primary Health Centers) but these peripheral centers are without any oxygen points/support and without any senior doctors with MD degrees.
We somehow managed the first wave of the Covid pandemic last year with this infrastructure which was also built during that time. But we are facing a serious health crisis right now during this second wave of the pandemic. Around 500 confirmed and suspected positive cases come to our notice daily out of which nearly 20% (i.e. ~100) cases require medical attention that lasts around 8 to 10 days on average per patient. That results in roughly 800 to 1000 moderate to critical patients at any point of time in our district.
Unfortunately, due to paucity of beds at the district hospital which is always filled to brim, with many patients lying on floors waiting to get a bed, a lot of patients either do not turn up or are turned away for lack of availability if they do. Many of these patients are forced to self-medicate based on advice/prescription from pharmacists and other sources who aren't trained for such cases. This ends up further deteriorating their medical condition. After 5-6 days, they come back to the District Hospital with critical oxygen levels ranging from 40-70, due to which our doctors at district level, despite their best efforts, are not able to save them. It's a really pitiable state of affairs to see multiple patients losing their lives gasping for breath daily.
What do we need?
This dire situation needs urgent intervention. We need to place 5 oxygen concentrators at each of the 10 peripheral hospitals. This would allow less critical patients with oxygen levels in 85-95 range to get treatment and oxygen support at the periphery hospitals itself. This would thereby significantly decrease the load at the District Hospital. For patients that do need to be referred to the District Hospital eventually, they will at least be in a more stable condition when they get there instead of having critical oxygen levels. Hence they will have a much better chance of surviving the disease.
We already have a few concentrators, but all of these are currently being deployed at the District Hospital to support the 96 oxygen points. If we could get some concentrators for the peripheral hospitals of our district, we can save many precious lives.
Mandsaur is a small district in Madhya Pradesh and unfortunately does not get the same coverage and attention as the bigger cities do in terms of donations, help and support from private organizations and NGOs. There are already numerous fundraising campaigns started by non-profit organizations for the current crisis in India. However as a small district in rural India, we have struggled to procure oxygen concentrators from such organizations given the overwhelming demand and competition. These concentrators are also quite costly and we need to raise funds in order to procure them. We have recently found some availability for oxygen concentrators that cost about INR 95,000 (~USD 1275) each including shipping and taxes. For the 50 concentrators needed, we need to raise INR 4,750,000 (~USD 64000). Every donation to raise this money will directly save many lives. Time is of the essence since availability of these concentrators is constantly fluctuating. The fastest availability for any orders placed right now is at least 10-12 days. We are happy to send utilization certificates to anyone who wishes to get them, showing where their donation money was utilized. We will also make sure to keep you all updated throughout this fundraising campaign as we incrementally order concentrators from the money raised.
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Additional Collector, Mandsaur