New Delhi: Deutsche Bank has come forward to support Smile Foundation’s Health Cannot Wait campaign to strengthen public health infrastructure and provide critical care equipment to people. So far, the bank has donated 2,000 COVID-19 mitigation kits across Mumbai, Bengaluru, Jaipur, and Pune.
These kits include community screening kits, Personal Protection Equipment kits, hand sanitizer, thermal scanners, pulse oximeters and three-ply masks for frontline workers.
The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken India and seems to be even more devastating than the first. Fighting the new, more infectious variant of the virus, frontline health workers are working round the clock even as hospitals run out of beds and oxygen supply, and thousands succumb to preventable deaths. India has become the second-worst affected country, with more than 28 million cases, and more than 349,000 deaths.
During this time of need, Smile Foundation has come forward with its ‘Health Cannot Wait’ campaign to strengthen public health infrastructure.
Santanu Mishra, Co-Founder, and Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation said, “As the pandemic rages on, there is a need to strengthen systems and provide relief to as many people as possible. Corporates, citizens, the government, and civil society organizations are working together to address the situation. We are delighted to be partnered by Deutsche Bank, as their support will go a long way in bolstering our efforts under the Health Cannot Wait campaign.”
Talking about the partnership, Kaushik Shaparia, CEO, Deutsche Bank India said, “Our healthcare workers continue to go above and beyond what is expected of them despite the severity of the second wave of the pandemic. Our partnership with Smile Foundation aims to support them through this period with mitigation kits that will provide them with the protection to continue their fight against Covid-19.”
The Health Cannot Wait campaign solicits long-term investment through donations to strengthen COVID care centers with critical supplies like oxygen cylinders, oximeters &oxygen concentrators. It entails the setting up of oxygen banks for critical patient support among vulnerable communities, mobilization of PPE Kits & N-95 Masks for frontline health workers, distribution of Hygiene Kits (including masks, soaps, sanitizers, oximeters), tele-counseling to dispel vaccine hesitancy, spread awareness on COVID-appropriate behavior and the provision of primary healthcare services to reduce the load on health infrastructure.
So far, Smile Foundation has provided over 27.7 million meals to more than 200,000 families in 23 states of India. It aims to provide three square meals to more than 250,000 families and is working to provide 50,000 home isolation kits to Covid patients.
An important part of the campaign is the provision of free teleconsultation to the underprivileged through a toll-free number for tele-calling and outreach through bulk SMS service. The tele-consultation emphasizes the personal and community benefits of vaccination. Its objective is to address questions of people who are hesitant to get vaccinated, dispel myths, give them the right information, and encourage them to get vaccinated. So far, Smile Foundation has sensitized more than 100,000 people through tele-counseling and aims to reach out to 500,000 people through this medium.
Smile Foundation is providing doorstep healthcare services to around one million people from 2,200 marginalized communities in 14 states. It aims to benefit 2 million people with mobile hospital & telemedicine projects in FY 21-22.
The Health Cannot Wait campaign has so far provided over 80,000 kits of protective gear to frontline health workers and aims to provide 1 million protective gear kits to frontline health workers. As part of this campaign, so far, over 2,00,000 hygiene kits have been provided to vulnerable communities, and the target is to provide 500,000 hygiene kits.