This week, the campaign to purchase oxygen concentrators was launched in India, where immediate help is needed in connection with the coronavirus epidemic, says Małgorzata Olasińska-Chart, director of the Humanitarian Aid program at the Polish Medical Mission (PMM).
"The collection started on May 5 and we currently have PLN 14,000 on our account. Our goal is to buy 10 oxygen concentrators; one concentrator costs PLN 3-3,500, so we are almost halfway through the collection" - says the head of the aid program in PMM.
"The response is very large. The collection will last until May 16, because we want to buy and ship the hubs as soon as possible" - he adds.
An oxygen concentrator is a medical device that supplies patients with air with an increased oxygen content. It is a cheaper and safer alternative to a compressed oxygen cylinder, which may pose a risk of explosion or fire.
"It is known that the situation in India overnight, and I suppose that even from week to week it will not change for the better. But the sooner the help arrives, the sooner people will be saved" - emphasizes Olasińska-Chart.
And the point is that this is a collection strictly for oxygen concentrators. "In India, there is a shortage of them. We will not provide any other help, because people suffering from Covid-19 cannot breathe. They need nothing but oxygen," he said.
The action is organized by PMM in cooperation with the Human Circle Foundation, founded by a Polish-Indian couple, Wioletta Burdzy-Seth and Kemal Seth. "Wioletta works from India for this collection, collects the latest information for us, sends photos and videos, which we use in our contacts with journalists and in social media" - says Olasińska-Chart.
When asked about the method and date of the provision of assistance, the PAP interviewee replies: "We will talk to LOT on this matter, we have full support from the Polish branch in Delhi and from Mr. Ambassador Adam Burakowski. We will ask Cargo LOT to transport the concentrators free of charge".
"Through our facility in Delhi, we will also apply for duty exemption, because unfortunately it is the case that despite the fact that humanitarian aid, donation, life-saving equipment is sent, tariffs are imposed on these equipment. for duty exemption, that is about 10% of the donation value - he adds. - Then in India we have a logistics organization that will provide transport and transport these concentrators to two locations.
One place is Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India. "Here, a school for poorer families is run by the Polish-Indian couple Zuza and Anil Gupta, who will take care of the distribution of equipment. We will support this place, because thanks to Susanna and Anil, we have a very good diagnosis of needs there. The situation in Agra with both the number of coronavirus infections and the availability of oxygen is simply tragic. This equipment in Agra will go to Varsha Hospital "- informs Olasińska-Chart.
The second place is the city of Ara, located near the confluence of the Ganges and Sonu, in the state of Bihar in the northeast of the country. "There, the concentrators will go to Sadar Hospital, where the medical situation is crisis."
When asked if anyone from Poland is organizing such aid for India, Olasińska-Chart admits: "So far we have not noticed that other organizations have started fundraising. The fundraiser is going well. But we want to count not only on private individuals, but also on entrepreneurs; we hope they will join the fundraiser. "
For over a week, the daily number of infections in India has exceeded 300,000, and in the last two days it has exceeded 400,000 The number of deaths infected with Covid-19 every day exceeds 3,000.
The Polish Medical Mission is a non-governmental humanitarian non-profit organization, operating since 1999 in Poland and around the world, mainly for women and children. Foreign activity is based on multi-annual assistance programs in order to meet the specific needs of a given country. The State Museum at Majdanek also organizes emergency medical aid for victims of wars, cataclysms and natural disasters.
Karolina Cygonek (PAP) interviewed