AAPI Coordinates Efforts to Help India As Covid Ravages Communities
India has seen a cataclysmic coronavirus surge over the past week, reporting nearly 350,000 new coronavirus cases per day, with the real figure probably much higher. The spike in infections has led to deadly shortages of oxygen, ambulances and hospital beds. Countries around the world have pledged to send aid in the form of medical supplies and vaccine doses, but urgent requests for ventilators and intensive care unit beds continue to flood social media.
“Thanks to you, the generous and compassionate members, and others as well, AAPI has been able and continues to make progress in its efforts to deal with an unfolding and out of control COVID 19 crises in India,” said Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, President, AAPI here today. “As we pledged, we are able to very quickly secure the much needed and in demand O2 concentrators through our reliable and committed partner (SEWA International). We have shipped by air freight, the first batch of 1,000 of the O2 Concentrators on 4/29/21.”
Stating that AAPI in collaboration with its partners on ground in India “have identified destinations based on urgency and acute need for the medical equipment to be able to serve and save as many lives as quickly, and to prevent avoidable catastrophe for the simple lack of O2,” Dr. Jonnalagadda said, “We have no doubt, this is just the beginning of a long road ahead. We are assessing the situation on the ground constantly and coordinating with various local task forces and teams.”
Dr. Sajani Shah, Chair of AAPI BOT, said, “We have a team of volunteers and support and guidance of experienced leaders, who have come forward to enable and empower our efforts to curtail this crisis. We urge all of you to stay engaged and connect with us whenever you have any good suggestions and feedback to help us understand the ground realities quickly and fully. So, we can be more effective and efficient to tackle the problems.”
Educating the public and the physicians in India is vital to combat the virus,” says Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President-Elect of AAPI. She has reached out to the Indian media across the platform offering regular series of educational materials to be published in India for the use and implementation of effective ways to treat patients who are mpacted by Covid.
“On behalf of AAPI leadership, we would like to have a series of educational messages to the communities on Covid to address the concerns of the public and medical community during the pandemic time as we recognize our role is to educate communities. Through this voluntary project from our members, we can help educate the people first. Allay their fears. Explain and educate them about the disease and on ways to combat the virus.”
Dr. Ravi Kolli, Vice President of AAPI, while expressing gratitude to AAPI members, “request you to continue your support and contributions to take our activities to the next level of helping secure much needed ventilators, which will also be critically scarce as the morbidity and hospitalization surge, out matching the supplies. Again, we want to reiterate that all of you, the members of AAPI inspire and motivate us and you are the true wind beneath our wings in this movement. We will leave no stone unturned to seek solutions and rise to the occasion. Let us all do our duty and be a beacon of hope and resolve to maintain the momentum to conquer the Himalayan challenge ahead of us.”
As India’s health-care system buckles under pressure, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the largest ethnic medical organization in the United States , representing the over 80,000 strong Indian American physician community in the US, has risen to the occasion and is leading several efforts to support, coordinate and reach the much needed help in this hour of need. Some of the leading international media, including the Washington Post, The New York Times and CNN have recognized AAPI and have urged AAPI among some of the major resource groups to reach help to the communities across India as they are impacted by Covid as never been in human history.
“Indeed a proud moment for AAPI,” said Dr. Amit Chakrabarthy, Secretary of AAPI. “The tireless efforts of the AAPI leadership and members, who have spent sleepless nights coordinating relief efforts for India has been recognized by the prestigious New York Times as the second most prominent international organization in this effort (after UNICEF)!!! This is a proud moment for all of us. Please continue to support and donate at aapiusa.org.”
Dr. Jonnalagadda announced that “AAPI is facilitating interaction between US and Indian doctors to advise them about the evidence based protocols to treat COVID-19 patients. We evaluated 3 HIPPA compliant telehealth platforms to treat patients in India. AAPI is also working on relaxing the restrictions on US physicians to treat patients in India. I want to thank Dr. Anupama Gotiumukaua, Dr. Ravi Kolli, Dr. Amit Chakrabarthy and Dr. Satiheesh Kathula for their efforts in coordinating various sources and resources in this fight against the pandemic.”
In its efforts to serve as a physician on humanitarian grounds to help patients in India, AAPI has identified and facilitates the following platforms/links to those who want the Telehealth established platforms: http://Mdtok.com/dr/Covid and www.eGobalDoctors.com
AAPI encourages using this route because they give global malpractice coverage: They offer free service for 1-3 months for our physicians to help Indian patients, as these platforms serve and help become every Indian American physician to be a registered physician in India, by renewing your India licenses ASAP and can start your services; Getting more info from different resources as well to get our services reach Indian patients as every resource is being tapped to help India in this crisis situation.
AAPI is in constant touch with Indian Embassy, Indian Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan to see how best “we can help our motherland during this horrific pandemic. AAPI has written to a letter Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narendra Modi to lock down the country to contain the spread of the virus, and to ramp up the vaccinations.”
“AAPI has been in the forefront to help India to combat the pandemic,” said Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Treasurer of India. “Thousands of people, both members of AAPI and non-members have come forward to donate money by putting trust in AAPI. We will try our best to be transparent and make sure that your donations will make some impact. I really want to thank all the donors who supported us unconditionally.”
It’s devastating to see millions of people are being impacted by Covid in India, especially many of the friends and families of AAPI members are suffering from Covid disease and dying now. In this context, AAPI would like to help India big way, said Dr. Jonnalagadda: “AAPI is collaborating with UNICEF, SEWA International and other like minded organizations. AAPI is also urging all Community leaders to educate their members to be on Alert to avoid spread of the virus.” For more information on AAPI and its efforts to coordinate services for the people of India, please visit: www.aapiusa.org