The work is being done entirely by dedicated volunteers, and the cost of new parts is a paltry $50 per device. So it is great philanthropy.
By Peter Anderson
Even though the world is experiencing the fourth surge in this pandemic, we here in the United States are probably looking at overcoming this major threat within the next six months or so. Our vaccination rate is slowly bringing us closer to our local “herd immunity.”
But that is not the entire story. That won’t be the end of the pandemic. The virus rages on in the rest of the world where people unprotected by the vaccine are becoming infected at alarming rates, most particularly in developing countries. And those people won’t be out of the pandemic for at least a couple of years. Not only are they short on vaccine supply, but they are also short on medical equipment to treat patients with the disease. Particularly ventilators.
To address that critical shortage and help speed the world toward recovery, a bunch of brilliant people right here in Morgan Hill founded IndiaCovidSOS to tackle that shortage in a remarkably simple way. They are re-conditioning devices that Sleep Apnea patients use to help themselves breathe at night, repurposing them to serve as make-shift ventilators, and then sending them to developing countries where they are helping COVID-19 patients to survive. Recently the Morgan Hill Rotary Club began partnering with them, and so far, more than 1,200 such devices have been sent to desperate patients overseas, mostly in India.
The work is being done entirely by dedicated volunteers, and the cost of new parts is a paltry $50 per device. So it is great philanthropy. But the key is finding sleep apnea devices (CPAP machines).
Where do they find these devices? In closets, storage rooms and garages just like yours, where patients have stored them because, for any number of reasons, they no longer use them.
It costs money to recycle such electronic devices, but it costs nothing to donate them. And the benefit of donating is enormous. After helping one COVID-19 patient recover, the donated, repurposed device is sanitized and given to another patient. And so on until the end of the pandemic. Each donated device reduces suffering and could easily save a dozen lives.
Until we reach that end, you can help save patients’ lives by finding a CPAP device not being used and donating it to IndiaCovidSOS or to the Morgan Hill or any local Rotary Club. More information is available at www.RotaryDistrict5170.org, or www.indiacovidsos.org/equipmentdonation. Or please contact Dr. Kusum Atraya (DDS, BDS, Diplomate at The American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine) at (408) 842-5037 or Peter Anderson (408) 639-3164, [email protected]
Peter Anderson is a long-time Morgan Hill resident and an engineering geologist at Pacific Geotechnical Engineering in Morgan Hill.
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