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Singapore Universities' Mission Oxygen (SUMO)


India is going through a challenging time with number of daily COVID-19 deaths hitting new high with each passing day. Families, friends, colleagues and fellow residents are all facing a hardship in managing lives with the current storm of COVID-19. India is dealing with severe shortages on all fronts, be it oxygen, medicines, vaccines, or even doctors and nurses. The capacity is limited and the demand is overwhelming. As a result, there is chaos and what is being called a system collapse.

Oxygen is essential for the treatment of critical COVID-19 patients. Patients with severe symptoms run out of breath because the virus spreads to the lungs. So, patients need supplemental oxygen as that is what keeps them alive, as doctors treat the infection. Currently India has acute shortage of oxygen. In case one cannot find supplemental oxygen, patients keep gasping for breath, which worsens the infection and can lead to death.

COVID-19 Data Repository by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University

In these trying times, the world stands with India. Singapore sent four cryogenic liquid oxygen trucks, the UK has sent oxygen concentrators and ventilators while the UAE sent 500 oxygen cylinders.

A group of Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore & Singapore Management University alumni have initiated a campaign to source 100 units of Oxygen Concentrators from overseas to India and deploy on ground through noble and selfless mission initiated by our fellow alumni. The group initiated by banker and author NTU 2010 graduate Rahul Singh has assembled varied expertise in just 12 hours to manage end-to-end process right from procurement to logistics to last mile deployment in towns and villages. While NUS 2010 graduate Anoj Vishwanathan, CEO of Milaap provided the technological support to host the campaign on India’s biggest crowd sourcing platform, NUS 2017 graduate and data scientist Vishal Ladha looked at real time tracking of Fund donation, and NTU 2006 graduate Ishita Dhamani used her logistics expertise to help with supply chain. Hyderabad based industrialist NTU 2008 graduate Agastya Sagar activated his contacts to procure Oxygen concentrators globally. With inputs from 1997 NTU graduate Ashwin Chari CEO of ‎Philips Philippines, Business Development Leader NTU 2006 graduate Vikram Vimmidi did a detailed analysis of the different oxygen concentrators to zero down on the most optimal solution. Sales Consultant NTU graduate 1999 Pavneet Singh Bedi  and Cloud Computing Architect NTU 2010 graduate Vikram Bahl designed the website for the mission while 2009 NTU graduate Anisha Baghudana looked at marketing efforts. NTU MBA 2016 graduate Monica Mittal used her Health Care expertise to find the beneficiary of the campaign in South India. In North India, NTU 2000 alumni lead Community Empowerment Lab (CEL) was identified as the beneficiary. IAS Akshay Agarwal NUS 2017 graduate was roped in to expedite things on the government side.

The oxygen concentrators shall be given to two organizations viz. CEL and Mission Mercy working on the ground to help COVID-19 patients struggling to get access to medical oxygen.

Community Empowerment Lab (CEL) is led by NTU alumna Aarti Kumar and John Hopkins University educated medical doctor Dr. Vishwajeet. CEL was the winner of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Award 2014. It is a community-entrenched global health research and innovation organization based in Shivgarh, central Uttar Pradesh, a rural area with a population of ~150,000. CEL is working directly with the community and Uttar Pradesh National Health Mission to mount a COVID-19 emergency response. At the moment every 4th household has at least one member who is affected. The oxygen concentrators will be set up in the community health centers to provide care to patients locally.

#MercyMission is a consortium of more than 20 NGOs based in Bangalore, helping the needy and homeless in the city fight COVID-19 crisis. The group is supporting COVID-19 patients with oxygen and ambulances. To ensure preparedness, Mercy Mission ambulance teams of paramedical staff & trained volunteers have been formed to help ferry COVID-19 patients to hospitals. Mercy Mission has been receiving an average of more than 2000 calls on their helpline looking for assistance.

The campaign was highly appreciated by not just the alumni of Singaporean universities but also the public at large. Donations came in from every continent on the planet and campaign hit 60% of its USD 75,000 target in just 24 hours of the launch.



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