Pandemic Pulse

MissionICU is on a Vital Mission to Prepare for the 3rd Wave by Building Critical Care Infrastructure for Rural India

While there is a lot of focus in cities for setting up Jumbo COVID centres and Large capacity ICU beds, tier 2 and tier 3 towns are left out. These small towns are most affected after the metro cities and they are ill-equipped to handle the tsunami of COVID cases. Global experience has shown that we have to be ready for the next wave due to different pathologies and mutations – investment in bolstering the rural and semi-urban medical infrastructure is critical to handle future challenges. MissionICU is a step towards preparing the capacity for taking care of families in rural India.

MissionICU, a social collaborative initiative that aims to bolster existing ICU capacity in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities across the country, has recently helped set up critical infrastructure in the Gadag district of Karnataka last week. MissionICU supports government district hospitals by adding state-of-the-art ICU beds and critical care medical infrastructure. By increasing capacity in these public hospitals, the organization aims to create a sustainable impact: it not only helps with COVID hospitalizations but also prepares smaller towns for natural disasters and future pandemics. 

Speaking on the initiative, Dr. Ashwin Naik a Health Care Entrepreneur and Co-founder of Mission ICU said, “We believe that preparedness for future waves of COVID19 have to be sustainable, and build long term capacity. Our mission is to help build this capacity in small towns, including setting up ICU beds, procuring medical equipment, and installation support. We provide an end-to-end solution, right from sourcing funding, to due diligence/hospital selection, equipment procurement, and finally installation.”

MissionICU was recently featured and selected among the World Economic Forum’s Top 50 Last Mile Responders and looking at the amazing initiative, many corporates and other organizations have come forward to help with funds and take the work ahead. Mr. Maanoj Shah, a Chartered Accountant, Social Entrepreneur, and Co-founder of Mission ICU commented on the tie-ups, “Our flagship project was carried out in May 2021 in Tumkur district of Karnataka with generous support from Arogya World, USA. After that we had great support from Kantar, Wadhwani Foundation, Crypto Relief, United Way Bengaluru, USAid and a few more are in the pipeline. We have already deployed 40 ICU Beds in 4 locations in Karnataka and have a commitment of 150 beds from our existing supporters for Karnataka, Orissa and North East. In the next phase of expansion, we are looking at Maharashtra and the North East States.”  

Dr. Edmond Fernandes, Public Health Expert, Founder of CHD Group and Co-founder of this Mission ICU, takes care of the entire ground support on building this initiative says “ that when we have a very rigorous process of due diligence before we zero in on any location, we do the Need Assessment and study the capability and competency of Hospital Management to handle this additional ICU Bed Infrastructure. There is a formal process of Commissioning, Training and Quarterly audit system to ensure there is effective usage of the assets deployed.”
Preeti Reddy, Chairwoman – South Asia, Insights Division, Kantar, spoke on the same lines and said, “I must commend Mission ICU on this excellent initiative. The work they have done in rural India is exceptional, and we at Kantar are fortunate to have been on this journey with them. Gadag has limited medical infrastructure because of which locals have had to travel long distances to receive critical care at affordable rates. This has been a particularly serious issue during the pandemic. This initiative will help the town address their medical challenges in a big way. We are happy that we were able to do our bit. Hopefully, this is just the start, and we will continue to make a difference in the lives of Indians moving forward.”

Looking at the huge support the organization has already started to receive, it now plans to penetrate in Maharashtra and the Northeast in the second phase. Mission ICU hopes to scale itself into a social franchise by creating a toolkit that can be adopted by any organization (private, public, or other) to create such ICU capacity across the country. They are also creating a database with updated ICU bed availability for each district in the country so that donors and partner organizations can get a clear picture of which districts need more ICU support. Their goal is to scale to a national level so India can have a stronger medical infrastructure in rural areas.


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