#ProjectMadad: How this voluntary group is helping India fight COVID-19
As the second wave of COVID-19 battered India earlier this year, a voluntary group of doctors and professionals came together to offer help. Project Madad aims to provide information on the disease and its treatments to aid the handling of the pandemic in India. Now, amid fears over a third wave triggered by the Omicron variant, we look at the project and its work.
What is the project's aim?
Project Madad comprises doctors and volunteers from India and the United States. It is aimed at providing information on COVID-19 treatments, combating vaccine misinformation, and sharing the latest data on hospital bed availability through its virtual platform. It also works to procure medical supplies and protective equipment such as masks and oxygen concentrators for rural communities across India.
Who all are part of the initiative?
Raja Karthikeya, who is based in New York, is the Project Lead while Balaram Reddy serves as the India Lead. Dr. Subbarao Inampudi, Dr. Rani Vatti, Dr. Sailakshmi, Dr. Rajesh Anumolu, Dr. Pallavi Kamjula, Dr. Nikhil Vatti, Dr. Hema Tiruvury, and Dr. Haritha Rachamallu are part of the Medical Information team. Other members include Devishobha Chandramouli, Kaivalya Gundu, and Hameed Patel.
A map to find COVID-19 hospital beds
The project's website provides a detailed map to locate COVID-19 hospitals across India. The map provides real-time information on the availability of oxygen and non-oxygen hospital beds in various districts. It also offers the latest data on the number of available ICU/HDU beds and ventilators. However, the data is subject to change and the website suggests calling the hospital for confirmation.
How does the map work?
Project Madad's portal uses an algorithm to collect information from all major online aggregators of hospital beds availability in all Indian states. The system provides information on both government and private medical facilities. It verifies and filters that information across websites and eliminates data that has not been updated for a long period of time.
How can you support the project?
Project Madad also has a fundraiser page on the GoFundMe platform through which it aims to raise $20,000. "Our main aim is to curb the increase of COVID-19 cases with mild symptoms in rural India through interventions by rural healthcare workers," according to the fundraiser.