Mumbai doctor couple collects 20kg of unused Covid-19 meds in 10 days
A doctor couple from Cuffe Parade has collected 20kg of unused Covid-19 medicines from recovered patients in just 10 days. These medicines will be donated to the primary health care centres in rural districts across India for the timely treatment of the underprivileged, who are infected with Sars-CoV-2 – the virus that causes Covid-19.
On May 1, Dr Marcus Ranney and his wife Dr Raina, both aged 37, started Meds For More — a citizen initiative to collect unused medicines from Covid-19 recovered patients – from their apartment building Atur Terraces. Since then, residents from around 100 buildings have donated their unused, unexpired medicines for the campaign.
“Covid-19 patients all across the country are facing an acute shortage of medicines. So why waste even a single dose? These can be used for treating those living in rural and tribal areas, who are the most affected. Through this initiative, we want to help such underprivileged people,” said Dr Ranney, who along with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), worked in the slums of Dadar for the screening and treatment of Covid-19 patients during the first wave of the pandemic last year.
Meds for More collects all kinds of unused medicines such as antibiotics, Fabiflu, pain relief, steroids, inhalers, vitamins, antacids, among others, that are being used to treat Covid-19 patients. Additionally, they are also collecting basic medicinal equipment like pulse oximeters and thermometers.
“All donated medicines are segregated and checked for expiry dates. We have collected around 2kg of Fabiflu, 1kg of steroids, 6kg of vitamins, 4kg of acetaminophen like paracetamol, among others,” said Dr Ranney.
With the growing awareness about the initiative, residents from neighbouring buildings have started volunteering to collect medicines.
Colaba resident Meghna Chhabria, who is a volunteer, said, “I wanted to help underprivileged people in this pandemic but I was too scared to go on the field as I haven’t been vaccinated yet. So when I got to know about this initiative, I helped in collecting the unused medicines from my building and neighbours.”
The 39-year-old also handles the social media account of the campaign to raise awareness about the cause.
The team has tied up with different non-government organisations (NGOs) to dispense medicines to needy patients. They have also finalised their first consignment which will be sent to the tribal residents in Gujarat.
“At present, our first priority will be tribals from Maharashtra and Gujarat. We will then gradually, expand it to other states,” Dr Marcus said.
The initiative is not only limited to south Mumbai. “Any recovered patient from any part of the city can send us their unused medicines. There are no geographical restrictions. We want to extend the initiative all across the city. It is extremely feasible and can be also replicated in other cities,” said Ruchie Kothari, 37, a team member.
Those interested in donating their unused medicines, can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to their Instagram page @medsformore.
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