Maharashtra Doctor Couple Collects Unused Medicines To Help COVID-19 Patients Who Can’t Afford Them!

As the second wave of the pandemic continues to disrupt the nation, more than half the population struggles to avail of basic medical facilities even.

We have reached a point where it doesn’t matter how rich you are; the shortage of medical equipment and facilities are beating all.

In such a case, think about those who can’t really afford to pay grands for common flu and fever tablets.

To tackle this issue, a doctor couple from Maharashtra started an initiative, ‘Meds For More’ which aims to help people by providing them medicines that were not used by other COVID-19 patients.

“We started this initiative 10 days ago. We collect medicines from housing societies and provide them to those who can not afford them,” says Dr Marcus Ranney, who is heading this initiative along with his wife, Dr Raina.

“The idea came when one of the family members of our staff got infected from COVID-19, and they needed medication. As you know the medicines can be expensive. At that time, there were a few people who had recovered from COVID-19, so we decided to take their medicines and donate them,” Dr Raina said.

After that initiative, the couple decided to take this forward. They took help from some people residing in their neighbourhood and set up a team. “We started this mission with the objective of helping those who can not go out to buy medicines or anyone who can’t afford the COVID-19 medicines,” the couple added.

20 kilograms of unused COVID-19 medicines in just 10 days

Within the 10 days of this initiative, the team managed to collect more than 20 kilograms of unused and leftover medicines. These will further be distributed to primary health care centres in rural districts across the country, which can use them to treat underprivileged COVID-19 patients. 

“We have now 100 buildings that are sending medicines to us. We are a team of eight people and, of course, the volunteers in different buildings. Last week, we collected 20 kilograms of medicines, which have been packaged and given to our NGO partners,” Dr Ranney shared.

‘Meds For More’ is a citizen initiative that collects all kinds of medicines and donates them for the treatment of underprivileged patients. Besides this, they also collect basic equipment like pulse oximeters and thermometers.

People who are interested in supporting ‘Meds For More’ can reach out to the couple via social media or email: medsformoreindia@gmail.com.

Amid the pandemic, NextBigWhat is featuring and honouring every single effort made by individuals, groups and organizations to acknowledge their fight against COVID-19.

If you know someone who’s bringing a change in people’s lives, share their story with us. Let the world know them! #CovidWarriors

Despite Being On Oxygen Himself, Srinagar’s 50YO Asthma Patient Supplies Oxygen Cylinders To COVID-19 Patients!

As the nation battles with rising COVID-19 cases, shortage of medicine, oxygen cylinders and hospital beds, people from every corner of the country, in fact, the world, are coming forward to offer help and do their bit.

One such selfless man from Srinagar came into the limelight who has been delivering oxygen cylinders to hospitals and needy COVID-19 patients despite being on oxygen himself for the past three years.

Manzoor Ahmad is an asthma patient and carries an oxygen cylinder with him 24×7 as it helps him breathe better. The 50YO driver from Srinagar uses a small truck to transport oxygen cylinders to COVID-19 patients and hospitals.

ALSO READ: How 500+ teachers in Mumbai are connecting COVID-19 patients to healthcare facilities!

“I know the importance of oxygen as I have been on oxygen support for the last three years after suffering an asthma attack. I have been driving this vehicle and ensuring my family’s well being. But today, it is even more important to carry these cylinders,” Ahmad says.

Ahmad, who is the only earning member of his family and a father of three, is at higher risk of contracting any deadly infection, let alone COVID-19, as his lungs are weak. And probably this is what drives him to work and serve people every day as he knows the true value of ‘oxygen’.

“I have three children: two sons and a daughter. My elder son is a school dropout while my younger son and daughter are studying, and I want to make them good human beings. This work today is not only giving me a livelihood but also a great amount of satisfaction,” Ahmad further adds. “During this crisis, even if my contribution is able to save even a single life, that would be a great achievement for me.”

ALSO READ: J&K teacher turns into a health worker; record COVID-19 sample collection to curb the cases!

People like Manzoor Ahmad makes us believe that there is much more beyond the struggles we face every day and that one should not give up, no matter what, as this too shall pass soon!

Amid the pandemic, NextBigWhat is featuring and honouring every single effort made by individuals, groups and organizations to acknowledge their fight against COVID-19.

If you know someone who’s bringing a change in people’s lives, share their story with us. Let the world know them! #CovidWarriors

ALSO READ: Ghaziabad family delivers home-cooked meals to COVID-19 affected families every day for free! 

J&K Teacher Turns Into A Health Worker; Record COVID-19 Sample Collection To Curb The Cases!

When a Kashmir based teacher tested positive for COVID-19, reality hit her hard. And that’s when she decided to work as a health counsellor and help the localities.

Babli Rani, originally from Bhaderwah, Doda, has been working in Kashmir for 11 years as a teacher. Things were fine until the virus caught her — and when she tested negative, she signed up as a health counsellor to do her bit.

“Since schools were shut due to COVID-19 and reduced activity, I decided to work as a health functionary days after I had turned negative,” Babli said in an interview. “I was moving from one village to another in Wakoora block carrying out samples of people who contracted the virus. I was tasked to take samples, maintain data of COVID-19 positives and conduct their contact tracing. I have been doing this for months.”

Rani has been posted in Ganderbal for 11 years and has worked in several schools — her last posting was in a government school at Rabitar, after which she started working as a health worker. She was trained in COVID-19 sampling collection, data processing and other basics of a surveillance team member.

ALSO READ: How 500+ teachers in Mumbai are connecting COVID-19 patients to healthcare facilities!

As of this writing, she has collected over 2000 RAT and RT-PCR samples and has become an expert in sample collection.

The idea to take up this role was to ensure that none of the COVID-19 patients transmits the virus to another person, and the district doesn’t witness any rise in cases.

“During one sampling session, I tested a nine-month baby, and on another trip, 40 villagers were found infected with the virus. The officials were pleased with my work and said without these findings; the infections would have spread deeper into the community,” she added.

Discovering herself while working as a health worker

Her typical morning starts with beginning the awareness drive against the disease. Her village trip includes some counselling session where she shares all COVID-19 advisories and measures that can help in limiting the virus spread.

This job, Rani believes, helped her in discovering the social worker inside her. She enjoys her job as working for common people gives her peace of mind. It’s been a few months since she started working, and she has proved herself as an important member of the surveillance team.

“I was home once during the last winter vacation but did not get time to see the kids,” Rani, mother of two,  shared how her work has restricted her from visiting her family.

ALSO READ: Chennai Welfare Group converts autos into ambulances, saves 160+ lives!

However, prevention and precaution are the only ways to protect her loved ones, she says and is happy with helping people around her.

“I am at peace these days,” Rani ends with a high spirit, and she doesn’t intend to stop her work until the pandemic ends!

Amid the pandemic, NextBigWhat is featuring and honouring every single effort made by individuals, groups and organizations to acknowledge their fight against COVID-19.

If you know someone who’s bringing a change in people’s lives, share their story with us. Let the world know them! #CovidWarriors

ALSO READ: Ghaziabad family delivers home-cooked meals to COVID-19 affected families every day for free!

This Ghaziabad Family Delivers Home-cooked Meals To COVID-19 Affected Families Every Day For Free!

“I have been approached by several individuals and NGOs for help lately, but I sincerely denied them. I am trying my best to help people within my capability,” says Narendra Singh, a Ghaziabad based resident who has been helping COVID-19 affected families by offering them home-cooked meals for free.

It all started when Singh realized how some of his friends suffered when their sisters/ mothers/ wives tested positive. “They weren’t used to manage the home, unlike the ladies. And that striked me. What if we could help them with the food part. At least they won’t need to worry about cooking,” he shares!

However, it wasn’t easy initially. While some couldn’t ask him for him because he was a stranger, others weren’t sure how costly the food would be. And that’s when Singh started circulating WhatsApp messages on his society and friends’ groups; confirming that he would be serving home-cooked meals to every COVID-19 affected family for free!

It’s been 20 days since Narendra Singh and his wife, Dr Manpreet Kaur, started this initiative. Currently, they deliver food to almost four to five families, each consisting of 5-6 members every day. The meal consists of protein-rich dishes paneer, beans, nutella, peas and grams.

Jo khate hain, wahi khilate hain,” says Dr Kaur, who is a dentist by profession and has been making 50+ chapattis and more than 500gm rice every day. It’s not easy to manage home, a 4 YO kid, along with taking care of patients’ meals, but this is the need of the hour, she says. “We’ve been seeing people struggling for basics. While we also help people in getting verified information about plasma, oxygen cylinders, hospital beds, ventilators, etc., helping them with their meals is something we thought of doing by ourselves,” Dr Kaur continued.

“We’ve always been spiritual and believed in working for humanity. Generally, we used to donate to Gurudwaras in the form of ‘Dasvandh’, but this time we thought of using this money and resources for COVID-19 affected families. Although we are not doing it on a large scale, I am happy with the feedback and the blessings we receive,” says Singh, who lives in Indirapuram.

Narendra and Manpreet belong to a nuclear family. Their daughter is still very young, and hence they never really thought of expanding this initiative. Neither they considered taking any form of donation. But every time someone offers them help, they encourage them to donate only in the form of raw materials or staples and not money. “What we are doing is for humanity and for the almighty; can we really justify it with money,” he smiles. 

Free Home-Cooked Meals

Providing quality with quantity

Currently, Singh and his wife only want to maintain the quality of food and the amount they are serving. They generally prepare and pack the food in containers and send it via delivery services like Swiggy Genie.

Every time they send food to any family, they form a relationship with them, which cannot be defined. “I feel they become my family and their health and recovery start mattering to me as much as it matters to their loved ones,” Narendra says.

[Watch: Team Hope offering free food amid #COVID19​ in Varanasi]

Over time, he is also preparing a database of all the patients he has been serving food to. The idea is to keep a record of people who may wish to donate plasma after they recover. Besides this, Singh also works with some local Gurudwaras and communities to help people. 

Singh believes that this nature of helping others and going beyond one’s comfort zone is in the culture of Sikhism. “Langar is a basic and very old & vital part of our culture. While ours is a home-kitchen based langar, a lot many people are doing it on a societal level. This is a time which demands us to work for others and not for ourselves,” he says.

Singh doesn’t know for how long or how many people he would be able to help, but he doesn’t intend to stop until then. “Nanak Naam Chardi Kala, teraa bhane sarbat da bhala,” he ends with this.

If anyone wants to get in touch with Narendra Singh, s/he can contact him via +91 99903 14742. Currently, they serve food to people residing only within the 10km radius of their home. This ensures that the food remains fresh and hot by the time they receive it.

Amid the pandemic, NextBigWhat is featuring and honouring every single effort made by individuals, groups and organizations to acknowledge their fight against COVID-19.

If you know someone who’s bringing a change in people’s lives, share their story with us. Let the world know them! #CovidWarriors

This Mumbai Based Company Launched A Personalized WhatsApp Chatbot To Fight COVID-19!

India witnessed four lakh COVID-19 cases for consecutive four days. While a lot of private and community-based organizations and volunteers are trying to help people in finding oxygen cylinders, plasma, hospital beds and ventilators, there are still a lot of queries and requirements floating every day on Twitter.

To help people with their queries and fight COVID-19 in their own way, a Mumbai based company came up with their own personalized WhatsApp chatbot that helps people in finding real-time data and information.

Machadalo is a brand owned by Vijaikirti Technologies Pvt Ltd. It’s an IT company HQ in Mumbai specializing in building products and solutions for hyperlocal communities. They have built a campaign management platform that caters to advertising and lead generation in micro-communities. They are also into indirect supply chain management solutions for residential societies and corporates.

Recently, they have built a WhatsApp-based chatbot, Machadalo Education Assistant (MEA), to map the interests of students and then provide them with curated online content.

“As we were experimenting with technology to strengthen the capabilities of our WhatsApp chatbot, we realized that out there is a pandemic which is growing at an alarming rate. Around 24th April 2021, we had an internal team meeting, and we decided that we all have to do something for the people suffering because of COVID-19. Based on our Pan India network with residential societies and our chatbot capabilities, we decided to build a COVID-19 helpdesk cum a WhatsApp based virtual chatbot,” says Anupam Sorabh, the founder.

The motive was purely to provide solutions and not just information to affected people under 30 minutes.

How does it work?

The COVID-19 helpdesk is very simple to use. One can just save the number +91 72088 80208 on WhatsApp and send ‘Hi’ to start the chat session. The bot provides the user with a menu from which a particular category could be chosen. One can select the city to find the latest updated information for a particular query.

For example: If a user wants to know about the latest availability of beds, s/he can type ‘B’, select the state, say Madhya Pradesh, by typing ‘D’ and can get the web URL, which will show the latest availability of hospital beds.

If a user finds it difficult to use, s/he can connect with a volunteer by typing ‘V’ and then by selecting the state and the city he wants to know the information about. There is a special feature that works for all Indian cities, i.e., by typing ‘T’, one can get all the relevant Twitter feeds in real-time for the latest available stock. 

“We want to help affected people with solutions which might save lives and reduce the mental trauma of the near and dear ones,” Anupam continues. “We are getting so much positive feedback every day from both directly affected people and those who want to keep verified information at hand. People are also approaching us to work as a volunteer.”

The COVID-19 helpdesk is developed by an alumnus of NITIE/ NITs and backend technology of Machadalo Platform. With more than 100 active volunteers across India, the team has information of 13500+ verified suppliers.

On asking about the further plans, Anupam says, “we want to tackle the problem of optimizing the entire supply chain, i.e., to provide real-time solutions as and when the real need arises. Currently, what we have achieved is very little, and COVID-19 has already started affecting villages and semi-urban areas drastically. We are now adding more volunteers to our team to make the work smooth. We are also starting to book residential societies for vaccination drives.”

It will take a lot of time and effort for the Machadalo team to reach every village, but they believe this is the least what they can do.

Who thought a small team meeting would turn into a big initiative and will start impacting so many people.

“Save this number, share save lives: +91 72088 80208. Follow the COVID-19 protocol strictly and help in whatever way you can,” Anupam ends with a small but important message.

Amid the pandemic, NextBigWhat is featuring and honouring every single effort made by individuals, groups and organizations to acknowledge their fight against COVID-19.

If you know someone who’s bringing a change in people’s lives, share their story with us. Let the world know them! #CovidWarriors

#COVID19: Why The Primary Outcome Of Any Trial Should Be Reported Before The Commencement?

Similarly, in clinical trials one starts with a target – aka primary endpoint. Generally this is the outcome of the trial you want to measure. These outcomes differ based on the kind of trial being planned. E.g. if we were planning a heart failure trial, some outcomes we might..
measure would be : improvement in LV function, improvement in symptom status, hospitalization, to just name a few. In Covid trials, these end points are determined based on the population we are studying, so for mild cases it might be time to recovery, or progression of disease.
For moderate to severe cases on the other hand, we tend to look at more serious endpoints like need for oxygen or mechanical ventilation or death. The outcome has to be relevant to the patient and it should easily measurable with limited scope for manipulation or bias.
“Composite end point of symptom relief AND free from oxygen on Day 3” might just be the only significant thing they could find when they analysed their 100 measurements, and given this language it sure sounds like it. We won’t know anyhow until they give us a preprint or publish.
Until then, take this press release with a HUGE truckload of salt. End of tweetorial
@drabbyphilips @PriyankaPulla @d_s_thakur @netshrink @swapneilparikh @Charakan @just1doctorwala @pash22 @Neurophysik @Sulci_Gyri @omlakhani


» NextBigWhat’s #Threadmill brings you curated wisdom from Twitter threads on product, life and growth.

Read more posts on #CovidWarriors and Social Enterprise here!

Meet Shyamli Badgaiyan, student of Harvard Business School who raised $160,000 to support India

With the COVID-19 cases skyrocketing every day, we are seeing more and more people coming forward to help each other, to assist, and offer help in every possible way. Many countries from around the world are coming forward to support India amid a huge shortage of medical supplies. 

Likewise, a student of Harvard Business School is among those who did not just sit back and watch India suffering. But with all the Josh, she quickly raised more than $160,000 with the help of other students from 20 other universities. 

Shyamli Badgaiyan along with Priyank Lathwal, a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University, organized “South Asian student organizations” across her university and from 20 other universities, including Stanford, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown, MIT, Northwestern University, Tufts, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Her contribution towards helping India has gained a wide appreciation not only from the common people but also from Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. 

Tharoor tweeted, “Proud of Shyamli Badgaiyan, who had worked with my MP office in Delhi. Idealism & commitment never wear out!”

The student-led initiative is using a united platform to collect funds and pass them to organizations in India to enhance oxygen supply, procure protective equipment, and other medical supplies. 

In a time we hopelessly running from one end to another to keep our family safe, these samaritans are proving that there is still hope and light left between us! Kudos to Shyamli!!!Do you have a story for us? Tell us, we will tell the world!!  #Covidwarriours

Meet the IAS, IPS officers who helped limit COVID cases in their districts #Covidwarriors

A large number of police officials, administrative officers, and other frontline workers are defeating the deadly disease and have gone beyond the call of duty in saving the lives of COVID-19 victims. 

They are dynamic, they are ingenious, open-minded and above all, they are handy to perform any given task

Needless to say, police officers and other frontline workers are at greater risk of contracting the virus. 

Following are tales of an IPS officer and an IAS officer who went beyond their capacity to limit the spread of COVID in their respective district that they are responsible for. 

IPS officer Sachin Sharma

Unlike millions of people who can work from home, Police Officers are on the front to keep the public safe. 

Despite the daily surge in COVID-19 cases in India, some districts and villages are managing to stay safe, owing to campaigns and initiatives that a few officers have been implementing. What keeps the villages safe from the virus is self-vigilance. 

One such officer is IPS Sachin Sharma, Superintendent of Police, who introduced a campaign called, Mera Gaanv, Meri Zimmedari” (my village, my responsibility). Sachin Sharma wanted to ensure that Chhatarpur remains safe and the number of active cases remains low.

Over 800 villages took part in his campaign and are now benefitting from it. “We identified 15-20 volunteers from each village between the age group of 18-30 to begin with. These volunteers are involved in round-the-clock patrolling, and convincing people to stay within the village and not step out for any reason”, said Sharma.

Active cases in Chhatarpur

As on Tuesday,  the district recorded only 51 COVID-19 cases in the 1000 plus villages in Chhatarpur that fall under this campaign. “There have also been cases of people with mild symptoms, who have been able to work on recovery at home,” said Sharma. 

Self-Vigilance is the need of the hour

Sharma also explained how the natives of the villages remain vigilant about those coming into their villages. 

How did Sharma bring the cases under control? Here’s how......

The village followed a strict protocol. Anyone entering the village from other places must be in mandatory isolation for 8 to 14 days, depending on the symptoms they manifest. 

Self-realization and acceptance is the best cure.
 The villagers show we are in this together. Respect!!!

The villagers have taken it upon themselves to manage these isolations. “While some people are isolated in government buildings, others are in vacant plots within the village,” he adds.

To ensure that people stay indoors…..

IPS Sharma launched “Sankalp”, a campaign that helps senior citizens procure their daily vegetables, groceries, medicines, and more. “We understand that senior citizens are most susceptible to the virus. A lot of them live by themselves, given that their children are either doing jobs in other cities or are out to study. We have identified close to 3,000 such people and are providing them with all the help they require,” said Sharma. 

Under the campaign, services such as setting up tele-medicine appointments, getting masalas made from the local shops, and recharging their mobile phones and television set-top boxes are also offered. 

The data by CoronaIndia Tracker shows as of today, only one active case has been registered in the Chhatarpur district. 

Nandurbar’s District Collector Dr. Rajendra Bharud

Maharashtra was severely hit during the first wave of the pandemic. Ever since then, the focus of the state has been how to safeguard the city from not facing the crisis again. 

Nandurbar district of Maharashtra, with a population of 16 lakhs, now has adequate resources to not only help people of its district but also the nearest located districts. All thanks to Dr. Rajendra Bharud. 

How did he help?

Until 2019, the tribal district did not have a single liquid oxygen plant or tank. In September 2020, Nandurbar Collector Dr. Bharud established an oxygen plant at the district hospital for Rs 85 lakh. 

In January and February 2021, he helped set up two more oxygen plants. Rajendra ensured that he had to make the district self-reliant with regards to oxygen requirements when 190 patients were affected in Nandurbar during the first wave. 

“I wanted to be prepared in case we witnessed something similar. So in September 2020, we installed the first oxygen plant in the District, which could produce 600 litres of oxygen per minute, even though our highest single-day spike was only 190 cases,” added the Collector holds an MBBS degree. 

“Soon, we will have plants with a combined capacity of 3,000 litres per minute. Our plants directly extract air and provide oxygen through pipes to the patients,” said Dr. Rajendra.

Not all heroes wear capes

Money was crucial in setting up the plants, oxygen beds, and other required sources, says Dr. Rajendra. With the help of distinct planning and development funds, state disaster relief funds, and CSR, he managed to set up a robust healthcare infrastructure. 

Rajendra made sure that the vaccination drive is carried out effectively. He also ensured that doctors should not face any kind of pressure in regards to resources, even if that meant spending Rs 85 lakh per oxygen plant.

Active cases in Nandurbar

The district has been faring well by slashing the cases to 30%. From 1200 cases every day, the district now only sees 300 actives cases. 

Other states can learn from such initiatives to ensure they keep the Covid active cases low while continuing to go about their daily chores. The fight is still on and we need to ensure no one faces it alone. A huge salute from NextBigWhat to these unheard #Covidheroes 

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