Oxygen for India: amazing response and on-going needs

Two weeks ago we appealed for funds for an oxygen generating machine for our partner hospital in north India. Almost overnight we received gifts to cover the cost. When the hospital realised their need for ventilators as well, gifts continued to come in, far beyond our original request.

The hospital has now purchased the oxygen generating machine (£20,000), but installation has been delayed for another two weeks, due to general shortages. The ventilators are expected to arrive next week (£30,000). With the extra funds also sent (£60,000) they are able to extend their Covid facilities to accommodate the patients that keep coming in growing numbers. Responding to government requests and setting aside beds for COVID-19 patients requires setting up separate wards and where possible bringing an oxygen supply to each bed.

Makeshift Covid wards need upgrading

We have received over £170,000 so far, from our original appeal for £20,000. We are sending £110,000 to Kachhwa Christian Hospital and will send the remainder as soon as we can to similar hospitals in rural locations, with the same urgent needs. Broadwell Hospital has already received £10,000 to enable it to provide Covid facilities. The needs of Emmanuel Hospital Association’s 19 hospitals are immense, and we are awaiting their further input on where the needs are most urgent and pressing.

As the media continue to report, India’s emergency goes on and facilities are stretched beyond breaking point. People are in despair, so it was heartening to receive this message from our partner hospital:

“A couple had travelled for three hours to be treated and are now recovering. They said this:

‘Your doctors and staff, right down to the cleaners are angels of God with a Christ-hearted attitude of service! We are scared of going back to __ with the madness going on there! Wish to stay here until we totally recover.’ Watching the Hospital Administrator helping a nurse to give her husband a bed bath, the wife observed, ‘Leaders should be servants first. I love the way this is expressed in this place.’ ”

“There are three things we can go on doing,” says Ram Gidoomal, chairman of South Asian Concern, in an interview with leading charity Stewardship:

“First of all, pray. We need a spirit of wisdom, generosity and discernment for governments.

Secondly, if you can, please give.

Thirdly, you can lobby the UK government to send more aid, with particular reference to rural India. The situation with these isolated hospitals is being hopelessly under-reported. Many of them are snakebite hospitals which have been told they have to convert 10 or more beds for Covid patients. The good thing is that they are used to dealing with patients with oxygen challenges… the difficulty is that they are under-staffed and under-resourced.”

Latest reports from the hospital: last night two more Covid patients died, while others are recovering well. The snakebite season has started which increases the need for special Covid facilities. Snakebite patients (2-3 each night) also need oxygen urgently.

Donations for the appeal can be sent to South Asian Concern

by cheque (payable to South Asian Concern)

via please visit our Give.Net page here.

or by bank transfer to South Asian Concern at CAF Bank, Sort code: 40-52-40, a/c no 00099484

Please indicate that your donation is for the ‘KCH oxygen appeal’ (by emailing to celia.avinash@southasianconcern.org).  If you are able to Gift Aid your donation, please also send us a letter or email with your name and address and request us to claim Gift Aid with the statement below:

“I want to Gift Aid my donation and any donations I make in the future or have made in the past four years to South Asian Concern. I am a UK taxpayer and understand that if I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations in that tax year it is my responsibility to pay any difference”