At present, amongst the biggest hurdles faced pan-India is a severe shortage of oxygen. Even when oxygen is available, cylinders must be refilled once used, which is time consuming and expensive - especially for hospitals and healthcare facilities in smaller towns. After much consideration, we determined that our impact would be greatest if directed towards the purchase of oxygen concentrators. (Oxygen concentrators are medical devices that concentrate oxygen from ambient air - providing a sustainable source of oxygen supply that is not dependent on manufacturing or supply chain constraints.) As oxygen concentrators last for many years, this is also not just a short term solution, but importantly, a long term one that strengthens the broader health system. The funds that we raise will be donated to an organization called Swasth, well known by some of our students, that is coordinating the procurement and deployment of oxygen concentrators across India. Swasth estimates that India needs around 200,000 oxygen concentrators - of which Swasth has currently procured 10,000.
“Low flow” concentrators cost USD 600 and can treat and save the lives of up to 900 patients with mild to moderate illness. “High flow” concentrators cost USD 1100 and can treat and save the lives of up to 550 patients with a severe or critical illness.
We are raising funds to procure 10 concentrators, at minimum. This fundraiser is directly linked to Swasth’s fundraising efforts to ensure no time lag in the deployment of funds.