- NGO Helping Hand Foundation’s mission is equity in health care
- The NGO provides free oxygen cylinders and refill to COVID-19 patients
- A team of doctors and counsellors supervise and monitor COVID-19 patients
New Delhi: “Around two weeks ago, I tested positive for COVID-19. I was admitted in Care Hospital in Nampally but the condition there was horrendous. I saw an asthma patient waiting for oxygen for 45 minutes, and people dying. After being admitted in hospital for two days and paying a bill of around Rs. 2 lakh, my doctor brother suggested I opt for home isolation and treatment. I had cough and difficulty in breathing which means I needed oxygen. On social media, I saw a post of an NGO Helping Hand Foundation, providing free oxygen cylinders to COVID-19 patients. Honestly, I didn’t trust the post but I called them and within 1 hour and 25 minutes, they delivered an oxygen cylinder to me”, recalls 36-year-old Ravi Kumar, a COVID-19 patient from Hyderabad. Mr Kumar is one of the hundreds of COVID positive patients getting treatment at home and help from NGOs like Helping Hand Foundation.
Earlier this month, Hyderabad based NGO Helping Hand Foundation (HHF) which works with a mission to contribute to equity in health care started health emergency services including a free supply of oxygen cylinders. Talking to NDTV about the initiative Mohd. Fareed Ullah, Manager at HHF said,
We run various healthcare programmes and extend help to ensure better healthcare to people. For instance, we provide free medicines and ration to people who cannot afford it, we guide people with kidney failure to government hospitals and ensure they get free dialysis, provide nutritious food to TB patients. During COVID, with the rise in the patient count, the demand for oxygen cylinders also went high and various agencies started charging a hefty amount. Our patients approached us and asked if there are other NGOs who are providing oxygen cylinders at lower cost. It is then we decided to provide this service free of cost.
The NGO ensures a free supply of 65kgs oxygen cylinders at door step along with pulse oximeters for medically prescribed COVID suspected and positive cases under home isolation care. The team also provides free refilling of oxygen cylinders with no security deposit. Elaborating on the process of exercising the service, Mr Ullah said,
Whenever a patient contacts us, he/she is connected to our medical team consisting of doctors and counsellors. Over call, our doctors examine the patients and if oxygen therapy is needed, we deliver the cylinder. In case, a patient already has a prescription of some other doctor recommending oxygen therapy, we ask them to send it to us and then the same process follows. During the course of treatment, all patients are medically supervised and monitored.
This way the team has helped 130 COVID-19 patients in home isolation in Hyderabad and Secunderabad. As of July 30, 75 patients have been treated well and recovered, says the HHF team.
Sharing his experience of getting help from HHF, Yunus Khan said,
Because of a drop in oxygen levels, my 50-year-old brother Fazal Khan was taken to a government hospital and was diagnosed with COVID-19. Due to lack of beds, he didn’t get admission in the hospital. Following this, a senior doctor at the hospital gave us a prescription and advised to continue online consultancy. At the same time, I had received a WhatsApp message about the services provided by HHF so I contacted them and they ensured continuous supply of oxygen cylinders for eight days.
Another COVID-19 positive patient Mr Kumar said,
Today, anyone going to the hospital is not coming back home alive which is why I’m in home isolation. It has been 10 days since HHF is providing me medical support. The team members delivering oxygen cylinders come wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), ensures there is enough supply, sets up the cylinder and checks on me regularly. I’m really grateful to them for their noble service.
Along with this, in containment zones, the NGO is providing free ambulance service from home to hospital and hospital to patient’s home. HHF is also offering subsidised RT-PCR testing in collaboration with LEPRA (Blue Peter Lab).
In its fight against the COVID-19, the NGO has also set-up help desk at three major government COVID hospitals namely, King Koti Hospital, Osmania General Hospital (OGH) and Government Chest Hospital. The team of volunteers guide and assist the patients and their families.
Recounting the initiatives taken during the initial phase of the lockdown and Coronavirus pandemic, Mr Ullah said,
We have provided ration to over 5,000 families in slums, cooked food for 18,000 people in 60 days. During the lockdown, we found 1,000 students stranded in the city so we provided them ration, vegetables, and essentials like milk.
Keeping up with their efforts, HHF has now initiated last rites service for both COVID and non-COVID patients. From ambulances charging a hefty amount to relatives and neighbours stigmatising a death, there are numerous roadblocks that come in the way of dignified cremation. To resolve this, HHF has started the service and plans to continue with more such initiatives.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)