Under the leadership of philanthropist and past-president of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Dr. Jagan Ailinani, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOUwas signed recently between Community Pure Water Foundation, Inc. (CPW) and AAPI with the objective of helping to provide clean drinking water to millions of people in India, according to a press release from AAPI.
The organization said India ranks at 120 among 122 countries in the Water Quality Index, and approximately 70 percent of the water supply in the country is likely contaminated, resulting in nearly 2,00,000 untimely deaths each year, besides irreversible debilitation and crippling economic burdens.
“The overall objective is to improve health of rural Indian communities that are impacted by waterborne diseases, by partnering to provision water purification plants in affected regions and thus to stem the spread of waterborne diseases,” said Dr. Ailinani is quoted saying in the press release.
“As per the MOU, AAPI and CPW will collaborate creatively to address health challenges in India, focusing primarily on providing clean drinking water services, and related programs such as water for hand washing and sanitation,” said President of AAPI Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda.
AAPI intends to work in four key areas: identifying sponsors; collaborating with various prestigious professional groups including medical societies, academic institutions, hospital systems and NGOs (both in the US and India); leveraging the annual Global Healthcare Summit to educate and promote the key area related to this MOU; and engaging the AAPI supported 14 free (charitable) clinics in India to disseminate awareness on the health benefit of using safe clean water.
According to AAPI Treasurer Dr. Satheesh Kathula, one AAPI member’s tax-deductible sponsorship of $7,000 per village of 500 households can cover the expenses of water treatment plants totaling $5,000 as well as operating & annual maintenance cost for two years amounting to USD $2,000, among other things.
Other aspects of the MOU covered partnership with oncology specialists to provide medical, surgical and radiation oncologists to deliver quality cancer care in India. These specialists will spend from one to three months in Tata Cancer Centers in the country and provide Tele-medicine consultations. The model envisions an integrated well-connected network of existing and additional centers staffed by local and AAPI volunteer specialists from USA working partly in India and partly via tele-medicine from US to deliver high quality cancer care across the country to the villages, the press release said.
“We are urging AAPI members and others to come forward and work together in ensuring that all people in India enjoy basic health care needs, education, sanitation and help to access and drink clean and safe water to prevent deaths related to unsafe drinking water across India,” Dr. Jonnalagadda appealed. For more information, please visit: www.aapiusa.org