Covid-19: Breathe Tamil Nadu campaign launched | Chennai News


CHENNAI: In a move to fulfil the oxygen demands of Covid-19 patients in rural Tamil Nadu, a network of volunteers, NGOs, entrepreneurs, and healthcare professionals have come together to launch the ‘Breathe Tamil Nadu’ initiative.
The initiative has been launched under the Covid India Campaign founded by members of ICATT Foundation and alumni of IIT-Madras.
In addition to providing oxygen concentrators and beds, the initiative also fosters local leadership through community participation. By transferring the knowhow and resource requirements, the network is bridging the urban-rural divide in managing Covid.
So far, ten oxygen concentrators have been deployed in Tiruvannamalai district to set up ‘Community Oxygen Centers’ in the towns of Cheyyar, Thellar, and Karapattu. Across the country, the Covid India Campaign has already launched 17 community oxygen centers in the month of May alone.
The platform provides community leaders with the opportunity to support and address the needs of people in the rural areas who otherwise do not have ready access to healthcare centres. Instead of simply donating oxygen concentrators, the platform attempts to empower local communities in understanding and identifying the demand for different infrastructure requirements. Existing beds have been converted into oxygen beds by supplying high flow oxygen concentrator equipment, which is carefully selected and sourced.
Dr Saravana Kumar, head of emergency medicine at Dr Mehta’s Hospitals and national secretary for the Society for Emergency Medicine of India (SEMI), said, “When patients are administered oxygen early, deterioration of their condition can be avoided. We aim to shorten the time to availability of oxygen for patients by launching these centers that will administer oxygen and the needed medication without delay.”
In a decentralized model, volunteers work with the district health services department and the district administration in identifying specific primary healthcare centres and Covid care centres where there are none or insufficient oxygen beds. Post-deployment, there is a follow-up with each center to monitor the effective use of the equipment and fill any training needs that may arise.
The Breathe Tamil Nadu team is focusing next on Ranipet, Erode, Dindigul, and Nagapattinam districts.

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