COVID-19 remains a health emergency and a deadly threat, especially to the most vulnerable. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been responding to the global pandemic since it began. MSF doctors and nurses are treating patients and supporting communities across Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV), in collaboration with the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an independent medical organisation, has initiated a drive to help medical caregivers in their fight against coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Here are the Highlights of the #UniteWithoutBorders Telethon:
The Telethon ended with this hymn of hope composed by Raghu Dixit that wishes for happiness for the whole world and its people
Melissa McRae, Medical Director, MSF explains how this pandemic and its scale is different from what MSF has tackled before in terms of outbreaks like Ebola
Thank you donors: Firoz Ansari pledges support to the #UniteWithoutBorders Telethon with 500 face shields worth Rs 1 lakh on behalf of Plastometal Engineering, manufacturers of reusable and environment-friendly face shields
To donate and help protect our medical caregivers in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic,click here.
The national program has been quite severely impacted, continuity of care is a challenge: Dr Stobdan Kalon, Medical Co-ordinator, MSF COVID-19 Project, Mumbai
Sandip Agarwalla of Rotary Club of Bombay, donates Rs 10 lakh for ventilators and Rs 10 lakh for high flow oxygenators
The position is much better, earlier hospitals faced issues on the PPE front but we are comfortable now: Dr Anjan Trikha, Chairman Of Clinical Managerial Group, COVID Centre, AIIMS
Leena Menghaney, MSF Access Campaign on how the real test of the COVID vaccine will be about access
We have many initiatives and lots of good minds and institutions who are working together to make a vaccine. The vaccine initiatives will be tested in their ability to provide access to these vaccines to the most needy. We will have to live with COVID for sometime. We need to ensure, when the vaccine comes, the poor and the vulnerable have access to the vaccine.
I have started to miss human contact and the ability to do all sorts of normal things: Viswanathan Anand, Five time world chess champion and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee
Shekhar Mehta, Incoming President of Rotary International announces donation of Rs 70 lakh worth of equipment for MSF on the #UniteWithoutBorders telethon
It is critical to keep our healthcare workers safe: Prof Ashish Jha, K.T. Li Professor of Global Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Faculty Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute
Kamal Sanghvi, Director, Board of Rotary International on the Coronavirus challenge in Bihar
There's a surge in Bihar due to the return of migrant workers. MSF is creating COVID facilities in the state to look after critical cases. We want to help MSF with anything they need like PPE, ventilators. It is the responsibility of every citizen to help end this pandemic as soon as possible.
Sadly, this is not the last such pandemic, the world is likely to see more: Dr. Arvind Kumar, Chairman, Centre for Chest Surgery and Chest Onco-Surgery and Director, Institute of Robotic Surgery at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi
COVID has created a new set of untouchables: Dr Bal Inamdar, Past District Governor
People are scared to go to doctors for their problems. This is not good. It is very important to not see doctors like that, we need to visit doctors and we can go to non-COVID hospitals.
Dr Bharat Pandya, Director, Board of Rotary International on the #UnitedWithoutBorders telethon:
Important to realise two things - medical science is a science, outcome may not always be the same and answers may differ. Secondly, we can't have stigma around COVID. We need to treat our healthcare workers with respect.
We are seeing a paradigm shift in age group severely affected, earlier people in their 30s were not critical, now that is not the case: Dr Abdul Samad Ansari, Director, Critical Care Services, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital
Rince Joseph, Delhi President, United Nurses Association on their concerns in combating the pandemic:
Our need is and we approached the Supreme Court also, we need quarantine facility for healthcare workers. They become a carrier and they are putting their families at risk. So we need to provide them quarantine facility, specially nurses. We also need to provide them PPE kits. The PPE kits we are getting are not of best quality. many healthcare workers have to be in quarantine for 15 days in a month and they get half their salary, which is very difficult for them. We need to protect healthcare workers.
Devi Sridhar, Professor of Global Public Health, University of Edinburgh and Founding Director, Global Health Governance Programme:
Vidya Balan on the #UniteWithoutBorders telethon:
Sharika Amin, MSF Psychologist on the importance of mental health during a pandemic:
I feel the first step to cope with the situation is to stop fighting the situation. Acceptance is key here and what else works is to actually connect and share support for your loved ones, family, friends. And it is a very effective strategy. To combat fear, as you asked and which is very common in everyone including us, is to remember to do what we can manage. Our focus should be more on prevention and on what is in our control. And I think one very effective strategy for that is actually having a schedule, a routine that gives a sense of purpose to our day.
I am really proud to say that MSF and the entire organisation is dedicated to the cause and to help people and make their lives better. In the project that I'm working in that is in Kashmir, we started a helpline since the lockdown period started for people, who were suffering from emotional distress or any mental health issue that they could freely discuss through our toll-free number. And they could avail these services for free. I think that was an initiative that did make a difference to the community and continues to do so.
Yash Jaipuria, CEO, Ginni Filaments donates 500 coveralls worth Rs 2.5lakh during the #UniteWithoutBorders telethon: Naina Lal Kidwai, Former Country Head and Group General Manager, HSBC India and Former President, FICCI:
I think for Corporate India which is struggling, it is not an easy time to contribute to causes. But many big companies have risen to the ocassion. Many companies and factories are working very closely with the communities where they work. Many companies have started manufacturing PPE, gloves, sanitisers, it was done so quickly.
Good things coming out of this. I work in the sanitation space and we have been pushing people to wash their hands and improve usage of toilets - the entire WASH agenda. I was worried the agenda will lose momentum because the Open Defecation Free (ODF)targets have been met. But now with this pandemic handwashing, health and hygiene is back on the forefront.
Vikram Kirloskar, Chairman and Managing Director of Kirloskar Systems Limited and Vice Chairman of Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Former President of CII:
In the auto industry, normally the breakevens were at more than 85-90 per cent levels. We will be lucky if we do more than 50 percent this year. This will have an impact on even the tax collection. This is for the big companies. So imagine the kind of problems small companies will face. It has been a big challenge in the business sector, on the dealer side to sell vehicles.
Cricketer Suresh Raina on the #UniteWithoutBorders telethon:
Thank you donors. After over an hour of the telethon over Rs 50 lakhs collected
To donate and help protect our medical caregivers in the fight against COVID-19, click here.
Dr. Unni Karunakara, Former International President and Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Institute for Global Health:
We are combating misinformation as well. There's a lot of fear and panic around a pandemic. Stigma is not bad only for the patients but also for the healthcare workers. These are issues of serious concerns. Many healthcare workers in India are being asked to leave their homes. We need to protect health workers not only with PPE kits but also with legal protection for their rights. Doctors are the first one to get infected.
There are large number of people who are at a higher risk. The lockdown happened at the correct time. But the migrant workers who wanted to return home, could've been managed better. Their situation is of concern to us.
We have started treatment facilities in Patna. Testing is going on, our effort is to reach out to the people returning from Delhi and other cities. We need the supplementary health needs to be met as well, like for TB treatments, we need to provide care. This may not be a problem at the moment, it may be an issue later. These are important activities that need to be followed along with COVID care.
Baichung Bhutia on the #UniteWithoutBorders telethon:
Vikramjit Singh Sahney, Chairman, Sun Foundation President, ICC Paris-India donates 500 PPE kits on the Telethon:
We have the first artificial intellengence enabled COVID testing bus. It has the capability to conduct test, it also has an in-built ambulance. It is conducting tests in south Delhi slums. It is a good step for Delhi, where cases are huge and the surge continiues. So we need to continue testing, we got positive feedback for this initiative to test patients at their doorstep. Today, we are announcing that we will donate another bus to Punjab because the state needs to ramp up testing in rural areas.
Anu Aga, Founder-Trustee, Teach For India and Former Chairperson, Thermax Limited:
There's a lot to be done. If the government had invested more than 1 percent of GDP on healthcare, things would've been much better. We need to increase budget spend on education and healthcare
It is important to recognise the efforts of healthcare workers in these difficult days. Doctors and nurses and the entire staff work under very difficult conditions. They are doing a tremendous job. My doctor friend tells me that frequent washing of hands and sanitisation is causing their skin to peel off.
Social distancing and washing hands is okay for middle class and well to do. In a Pune slum where we work there is no water for last five days, so how do they wash hands. 10 people live in a house, how can they practice physical distance?
Dr Christos Christou, International President, MSF on #UniteWithoutBorders telethon:
Our first priority is to maintain that all programmes are running smoothly and essentials are provided. In some countries, we need to ensure people are protected.
No one knew what to do when COVID broke. We are still learning. A key challenge is how to mobilise our staff and supplies better. We need to ensure Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), without which we can't ensure protection to our healthcare workers. The supplies can't move from one place to another due to restrictions. Other priority is to ensure all other patients and diseases which are also prevalent need to be addressed. We need to remind everyone that diseases other than COVID still exist.
PCR at work during the telethon
David Nabarro, WHO Director General's Special Envoy For COVID-19 Response on the #UniteWithoutBorders Telethon:
#UniteWithoutBorders Telethon: Reckitt Benckiser contributes soaps worth Rs 10 lakh
To donate and help protect our medical caregivers fighting the coronavirus outbreak, click here
Dr Prince Mathew, Regional Director-Asia, MSF on the locations in India where they are fighting the battle against Coronavirus outbreak
We have a long history of working in these states we have responded to many emergencies like HIV in Bihar. When COVID happened, we wanted to support the places we were in and Bihar was an important location for us. We have had a collaboration with Bihar health department. In Mumbai, we work in a slum, which is very vulnerable.
Biggest challenge was to start a programme amid the lockdown. Medical equipments and staff from across the nation had to be mobilised. We were in a state where migrant workers were also coming in. We converted the sports complex into a care centre because of the flow of people and make a proper qurantine facility.
The added value we are bringing to Bihar is oxyginated beds - since its less in India and ensuring enough number of beds are available for the state's response. We are also supporting mental health. COVID also has a stigma problem and we wanted to support doctors, ASHA and anganwadi workers and we have a helpine number for support the frontline workers.
Shobana Kamineni, Executive Vice Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited and Former CII President on the telethon:
At this moment it is really hard, it has been a hard week. We had to step up our facilities. Healthcare workers are not thinking about their lives. We have done whatever we can to support them. They work for a week quarantine for another week. We can't let our guard down. We are fighting for people's lives. We have everyday huge queue of people to admit. The situation is quite diffuclt and it will be more difficult in the coming weeks.
80 percent of the cases will be asymptomatic, so a lot of our people who are fighting the crisis, understand the risk. The healthcare workers know they will most likely contract the virus. Until there is a vaccine the only thing we can say at Apollo is that we will treat every single person who is on the front line and help them with whatever they need - be it Personal protection equipment (PPE) and so on.
Meet our partners for the initiative Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
#UniteWithoutBorders telethon gets underway Few minutes to go for the #UniteWithoutBorders Telethon
2-hours to go for the #UniteWithoutBorders Telethon
We need your help to support MSF's frontline medical staff and healthcare workers, supply them with essential technical equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE), plus mental-health support for medical staff working during this stressful time.
Now the independent medical organisation is starting operations to combat COVID-19 in India. By setting up dedicated medical facilities to treat COVID-19 patients in Govandi, Mumbai and Patna in Bihar.
COVID-19 remains a health emergency and a deadly threat, especially to the most vulnerable. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been responding to the global pandemic since it began. MSF doctors and nurses are treating patients and supporting communities across Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia.