In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic, MissionICU, a social collaborative initiative that aims to bolster existing ICU capacity in tier-2 and tier-3 cities across India, has recently helped set up critical infrastructure in the Gadag district of Karnataka last week. MissionICU supports government district hospitals by adding state-of-the-art ICU beds and critical care medical infrastructure. By increasing capacity in these public hospitals, the organisation aims to create a sustainable impact: it not only helps with Covid hospitalisations but also prepares smaller towns for natural disasters and future pandemics.
Highlighting the initiative, Dr. Ashwin Naik a healthcare entrepreneur and Co-founder, MissionICU said, “We believe that preparedness for future waves of Covid-19 have to be sustainable, and build long term capacity. Our mission is to help build this capacity in small towns, including setting up ICU beds, procuring medical equipment, and installation support. We provide an end-to-end solution, right from sourcing funding, to due diligence/hospital selection, equipment procurement, and finally installation.”
Looking at the initiative, many corporate houses and other organisations have come forward to help with funds and take the work ahead. Maanoj Shah, a Chartered Accountant, Social Entrepreneur, and Co-founder of MissionICU said on the tie-ups, “Our flagship project was carried out in May 2021 in Tumkur district of Karnataka with generous support from Arogya World, USA. After that we had great support from Kantar, Wadhwani Foundation, Crypto Relief, United Way Bengaluru, USAID and a few more are in the pipeline. We have already deployed 40 ICU beds in four locations in Karnataka and have a commitment of 150 beds from our existing supporters for Karnataka, Orissa and North East. In the next phase of expansion, we are looking at Maharashtra and the North East States.”
Dr. Edmond Fernandes, public health expert and Co-founder, MissionICU, takes care of the entire ground support on building this initiative, said, “When we have a very rigorous process of due diligence before we zero in on any location, we do the need assessment and study the capability and competency of hospital management to handle this additional ICU bed infrastructure. There is a formal process of commissioning, training and quarterly audit system to ensure there is effective usage of the assets deployed.”
Preeti Reddy, Chairwoman – South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar said, “I must commend MissionICU on this excellent initiative. The work they have done in rural India is exceptional, and we at Kantar are fortunate to have been on this journey with them. Gadag has limited medical infrastructure because of which locals have had to travel long distances to receive critical care at affordable rates. This has been a particularly serious issue during the pandemic. This initiative will help the town address their medical challenges in a big way. We are happy that we were able to do our bit. Hopefully, this is just the start, and we will continue to make a difference in the lives of Indians moving forward.”
The organisation now plans to penetrate in Maharashtra and the Northeast in the second phase. MissionICU hopes to scale itself into a social franchise by creating a toolkit that can be adopted by any organisation to create such ICU capacity across the country. They are also creating a database with updated ICU bed availability for each district in the country so that donors and partner organisations can get a clear picture of which districts need more ICU support. Their goal is to scale to a national level so India can have a stronger medical infrastructure in rural areas.
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