After establishing 13 COVID care facilities across 5 states in India, last week Anant National University along with its coalition of partners has set up 2 more COVID care facilities in the interior regions of Maharashtra. These 2 centres are set up in collaboration with Sustain Labs and Nitesh Rane, an MLA from Mumbai.
Led by Dr. Miniya Chatterji, CEO Sustain Labs and Director of the Anant Centre for Sustainability, the 2 new facilities are in Devgad and Vaibhavwadi in Maharashtra. Funded by MLA Nitesh Rane, these facilities have 20 beds each, taking the total count of COVID beds set up by AnantU in India to 1700.
AnantU and its coalition of partners convert existing vacant and unused infrastructure into COVID care facilities for patients with mild to moderate symptoms. Its low-cost set up allows treatment of mild and moderate infections of the virus at a fraction of a cost. The economically viable facilities are equipped with a hospital bed, side table, room separators and mattresses made using materials easy to procure, produce, assemble, and transport. As per need of the facility, they are provided with IV stands, oxymeters, ventilators, oxygen concentrators. The beds, side tables, room separators at all these facilities have been made using a laminated corrugated board. Sturdy and waterproof, the laminated board can be disinfected and cleaned effortlessly and is a sound replacement for expensive steel beds. Apart from this, led by Professor Dhaval Monani, Associate Professor and Director of Affordable Housing at AnantU, the university and its partners have also designed, manufactured and put on the road COVID testing auto rickshaws and oxygen ambulance auto rickshaws.
“We establish each facility in 3 to 4 days, thus being able to effectively respond to this tragic pandemic. However, this time in Devgad and Vaibhavwadi it was especially difficult to source labour as these were our first facilities in sub-urban India. Yet we managed to set them up. These facilities demonstrate the importance of strong, coordinated efforts in addressing the current healthcare crisis. We look forward to the government support to scale this in other states.” says Dr. Miniya Chatterji.
The innovative model of setting up affordable COVID care centres is a game-changer in the current health crisis. Enabling rapid scaling up of COVID care facilities, this model can be successfully replicated across India. Parliamentarians with Innovators for India and Sustain Labs are now raising funds for AnantU and its partners to scale up the demand for COVID care centres in the states of Bihar, Punjab, Kerala, and Maharashtra.