The second wave of a covid-19 pandemic continues to claim the lives of loved ones in India, putting unimaginable pressure on health care professionals and infrastructure in-country. And while the government and health care authorities do their best to control the situation, some individuals and organizations are doing all they can to help minimize the struggle of the general public, pulling up resources and ensuring they are delivered to the most who need them the most. NGOs and startups are playing the main role in contributing their services to the covid-19 patients and victims.
The not-for-profit sector plays an important role in extending access to traditional EPI vaccines, particularly in low-income countries. Not-for-profit facilities are situated in rural as well as urban areas and are more likely to be coordinated with public services than the private for-profit sector. Although numerous studies on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) suggest that the extent of NGO provision of immunization services in low- and middle-income countries is substantial, the contribution of this sector is poorly documented, leading to a lack of recognition of its role at national and global levels.
Everybody agrees that we are living through unprecedented times. The nature and scale of the crisis which the pandemic has led to is unparalleled. In such a scenario, solutions are unlikely to come from past experiences or best practices. The biggest source of strength now is the partnerships we have built over the years. The situation at hand calls for stakeholders to come together, work side by side and support each other. This is precisely what one of the Empowered Groups created by the government for comprehensive action and integrated response to contain the pandemic has been doing since it was formed.
Studies on the quality of immunization service provision at private health facilities suggest that it is sometimes inadequate and needs to be monitored. Although some articles on public-private collaboration exist, little was found on the extent to which governments are effectively interacting with and regulating the private sector. In a country like India, the voluntary sector bridges the gap between the government and the population of the country. It identifies the needs of the community and provides its support and services, even in the most untouched and marginalized areas, where the government is not able to reach. In the wake of this deadly pandemic and the lockdown induced by it, our first thoughts were about how to reach out to our children and their communities. Topmost in our minds was the remotest regions of our operational areas and urban slums, their survival, safety, and their health.
In the midst of the tough times, a city-based NGO in Surat contributing its services during this pandemic. NGO Chhanyado is providing a much-needed ray of positivity. The NGO created a bank of oxygen concentrators and plans to lend it to those in need free of cost. Chhanyado had placed an import order for 100 oxygen concentrates of which 40 have been delivered so far. The NGO will be giving these concentrators to medical communities and isolation centers in rural areas. “The cases may be low in Surat, but what if the cases increase in the future. we will provide these concentrators during the patient’s treatment or post-procedural treatment against a token disposal amount”, said Mehul Desai, an advisory member of the NGO committee. “We will provide the delivery service to get an oxygen concentrator so that the patient’s relatives need not run here and there. We will install them in the patient’s house, and guide them about the usage of the kit. After the patient’s recovery, we will take the concentrators back and re-deposit the money to the patient’s account” said Desai, whose grandfather is the founder of Chhanyado. This NGO also providing the bulk of oxygen concentrators to the hospitals. The NGOs are taking funds from the people and helping people during these times.
There is no doubt that the grit and resilience shown by the civil society crusaders against COVID-19 are paramount. Though we are yet to see the end of the pandemic, it is key that the civil society organizations collaborate with the government in a constructive and meaningful way to build back better and enhance India’s preparedness to face any threat on the development of its society and people.
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