Help Create Oxygen Banks for Vulnerable Communities

A Smile Foundation volunteer using an oximeter on a patient

The biggest challenge in the second wave of coronavirus in India has been the shortage of oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators. As a result of this, many lives have been lost. Oxygen banks are the need of the hour. Smile Foundation is working towards this goal vigorously by utilising Covid donations.

Oxygen cylinder by Smile Foundation
A Smile Foundation volunteer with an oxygen cylinder for Covid patients

Why do we need oxygen banks?

The coronavirus has spread rapidly throughout the nation and has stretched our healthcare infrastructure to its limits. Hospitals have regularly been sending out SOS signals announcing that they only have a few hours of oxygen left. Many healthcare facilities also had to turn away a number of patients because of the shortage. This led to more loss of lives.

Who is most affected?

In the bigger cities, people have more money and more resources. Thus, a few are able to arrange these facilities, but at exorbitant prices. However, the less privileged communities are the worst affected because they have the least access to such provisions and life-saving equipment.

Oxygen being supplied from Smile on Wheels
Oxygen being supplied from a Smile on Wheels van.

Vulnerable communities in remote parts of the country are in urgent need of oxygen cylinders and concentrators. Due to lack of funds and disruption of transportation networks, they cannot simply go to their nearest town and get proper healthcare. Without these, their chances of surviving the pandemic are significantly lower.

With the rapid rise in cases, other essential provisions are also in short supply. Oximeters, which monitor oxygen saturation in the blood, are one of the most essential tools in the Covid-19 recovery process. Currently, these are either unavailable in the markets or being sold at exorbitant prices. Either way, the underprivileged sections of society are not able to access these.

Providing oxygen and oximeters

Smile Foundation is helping to provide oxygen and oximeters to individuals and facilities that need it the most. Corporates such as Tecnimont, S&P Global Foundation, Western Digital, and Ericsson Global are donating generously towards the same.

Oximeter by Smile Foundation
A woman getting her oxygen saturation checked at a Smile on Wheels van

Oxygen banks – The need of the hour

Most importantly, we are working on creating 100 oxygen banks across the country to help critical patients from vulnerable communities have access to oxygen supply. The cost of 1 oxygen cylinder is Rs 12,000 and each bank will have 20 oxygen cylinders.

Do your part!

You can also do your part by responding to the coronavirus crisis appeal. Join hands with us and donate to our Health Cannot Wait campaign that is vigorously providing on-ground support, services, and provisions to the worst-affected sections of our society.

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Author

Smile Foundation

Smile Foundation is an NGO in India that directly benefits over 15,00,000 children and their families every year. We have more than 400 live welfare projects on education, healthcare, livelihood, and women's empowerment in over 2,000 remote villages and slums across 25 states of India.

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