Let us join hands to support the residents of Azamgarh who are grappling with a shortage of oxygen
Azamgarh has historically been the epicentre of healthcare facilities in eastern Uttar Pradesh, erstwhile known as Poorvanchal, after Varanasi. The city has a dozen of multi-speciality hospitals and has a long history of catering to the medical needs of Azamgarh and surrounding districts such as Mau and Ambedkarnagar.
However, as the country is afflicted with the second wave of coronavirus pandemic, and as the pandemic has reached rural areas, Azamgarh has been hit hard, more so because more severe patients were usually referred to Varanasi or Lucknow for better treatment and even the best hospitals in the city do not have more than a few Oxygen cylinders. All the hospitals are overwhelmed with patients and lack of regular oxygen supply.
That oxygen crisis has choked Azamgarh is visible in the long queues at the oxygen generating plant in Ikrampur where relatives and friends of patients wait for hours to get an oxygen cylinder filled for their ailing loved ones. More desperate people travel to adjoining districts in hope of procuring Oxygen for their ailing family members. Such is the shortage that in several cases, people have started to travel to even Lucknow (250+ kms away from Azamgarh) to get their cylinders filled. Besides the shortage of oxygen, the shortage of empty oxygen cylinders is also a cause of distress to people in Azamgarh.
The situation becomes worse with a lack of beds in hospitals and an extreme shortage of ventilators. With the healthcare workers testing positive in significant numbers over the past one week, a shortage of manpower is likely to follow, worsening the crisis.
The crumbling infrastructure has resulted in terrible consequences for the people of Azamgarh. Reports of people dying due to lack of healthcare facilities and shortage of Oxygen is only increasing with each passing day.
In such tough times, some of us have stepped up and are volunteering to serve the needy. We are on the ground arranging oxygen cylinders, carrying out the distribution of masks and other protective shields in slum areas, and even helping in the last rites of patients who succumbed to the virus. We are coordinating with various groups and organizations at multiple levels to arrange sufficient supply for Azamgarh. For example, we are in touch with several industrial units in other districts to procure empty cylinders. Until now we have been crowdfunding financial resources from our known ones. However, as the pandemic rages violently on the one hand, and with the increasing cost of oxygen cylinders and other required instruments like the CPAP and BiPAP machines on the other hand, we have almost run out of funds.
Therefore, we appeal to you through this platform to help us financially and contribute your bit in helping the desperate victims of coronavirus in Azamgarh.
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