Indian-American physicians launch campaign to help India combat Covid-19

President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, AAPI, at the Aug. 26, 2020 webinar on Israel-India cooperation for COVID-19. Photo: AAPI.
Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, president-elect of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI). Photo: courtesy Dr. Gotimukula.

The largest organization representing Indian-American physicians has begun a campaign to help combat the devastating Covid-19 crisis in India.

“In the past week, we have been receiving nothing but mind-numbing news from many countries around the world, particularly in India, the land of our birth,” Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalgadda, president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) is quoted saying in an April 27, 2021 press release, pointing to the chilling statistics of the pandemic’s daily disastrous toll in India.

Members of AAPI, the largest ethnic medical organization in the country, have been taking proactive steps relating to the pandemic in both U.S. and India, the organization said the press release.

Dr. Jonnalagadda said AAPI has located a source manufacturer that supplies Oxygen concentrators that cost around $500.00 for each unit. The Indian Embassy and Consulates around the country will assist in the rapid shipping and customs regulations of these lifesaving units, the press release said.  So far some numerous members/Chapters of AAPI have has placed orders for securing and delivering oxygen concentrators for 200 units to be delivered direct to hospitals in India with the help of SEWA International, a non-profit organization.

People lower the body of a man who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) into a grave, during his funeral at a graveyard in New Delhi, India, April 23, 2021. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Some other non-profits that ha swung into action along with AAPI is Life Global, as well as Tarsadia Foundation, to name just a few.

Longtime AAPI member and Secretary General of the Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO), Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold, noted the “horrifying and scary” situation in India.

Physician, businessman, and philanthropist Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, chairman of Parikh Worldwide Media and ITV Gold. (Photo: Twitter)

Dr. Parikh is global chairman of Life Global USA. He noted that Bikhu U. Patel, founder of Tarsadia Foundation and chairman of Life Global California chapter, has managed to ship large amount of oxygen concentrate and is sending many PPEs and masks and other Covid infection-related medicines to the India.

Bhikhu Patel, founder of Tarsadia Foundation and chairman of Life Global California Chapter. Photo: Tarsadia Foundation

Currently, Indian-American physicians, “are using all their contacts and resources at the hospital administrative and government levels to facilitate treatment protocols to be in place at the various hospitals in the US and in India,” the AAPI press release said urging AAPI members and the general public to step up and donate generously toward alleviating the “serious health crisis” in India.

“We are appealing through our media for everyone to support India and its people,” Dr. Parikh said. The U.S. government is moving forward fast not least because of the activism and at the urging of all these Indian-American organizations and individuals, he added.

Dr. Sajani Shah, chair of AAPI Board of Trustees. Photo: courtesy AAPI

“This is a far cry from the picture a few months ago about our motherland India, which depicted the virus to be on the decline,”said Dr. Sajani Shah, chair of AAPI Board of Trustees, describing the current situation as “the worst nightmare,” in the AAPI press release.

Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, president-elect, held a brain storming session with hundreds of AAPI members and thanked those participating for their efforts to help alleviate the situation in India. Dr. Gotimukula is leading the AAPI Initiative to help India.

She outlined some of the steps that the organization will take –

  1. Groups of physicians will form smaller groups with Indian physicians in their own state/region, using the model already in place for Tele-Consult. The Google sheet prepared by AAPI has the list of volunteers and we will update it regularly.
  2. AAPI has 3 Telehealth platforms that have been identified and it is a free service to physicians from India/US and patients; 1.; 2.; and, 3. Apps are available on iOS and Android.

Apart from smaller educational webinars with doctors, Dr. Gotimukula urged the physician fraternity of the need to educate their communities on the need to double mask and to get vaccinated so that the intensity of disease is reduced.  Daily early morning (U.S.s time) sessions are held with physicians in India.

Other Executive Committee members of AAPI also urged physicians to do their utmost to help India in the crisis.



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