Kent Hospital doctors seek donations for India’s COVID-19 battle

WARWICK – Two Kent County Memorial Hospital doctors are working together to collect medical supplies and other donations for hospitals in India that are overwhelmed by skyrocketing COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Jinen Thakkar, a hospitalist, and Dr. Laura Forman, chief of emergency medicine at Kent, are organizing a cargo flight of much-needed medical supplies for India. They are asking for monetary donations and items such as gloves, N95 and surgical masks, face shields and goggles. Oxygen supplies are also sought, including empty cylinders, ventilators, concentrators, BiPAP and CPAP machines, pulse oximeters, tubing, masks and cannulas.

Monitoring and resuscitation supplies, along with items used for rehabilitation, are also needed.

Donations are being accepted through May 18.

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Thakkar and Forman, both of whom are veteran disaster relief volunteers, are working with the World Health Organization’s South-East Asia Regional Office, which will coordinate donation distribution in India.

“Hospitals have run out of beds, medications and oxygen to treat patients. Patients are dying outside of hospitals waiting for a bed and health care workers are putting their lives in danger by working without necessary PPE [personal protective equipment]. Family members are desperately trying to find oxygen cylinders and supplies for their sick loved ones,” Thakkar said of conditions in India, where hundreds of thousands have tested positive for COVID-19.

He and Forman have even enlisted the help of Rhode Island school children, who have made cards and written letters to be sent along with the supplies.

“Having worked on the front lines in Rhode Island when we had the highest per capita number of COVID-19 cases in the world (at least among countries that were able to test and report them), we’ve been struck by the situation facing our colleagues and patients in India,” Forman said.

To give through the Kent Foundation, visit foundation.kentri.org/pages/india-covid-crisis-relief.

Elizabeth Graham is a PBN contributing writer.

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