Supporting healthcare partners in India

Message from the Dean to MDHS, Tuesday 11 May 2021

Dear colleagues,

Recently I have spoken with many of you who express concern about the devastating news of India’s second wave of COVID-19. As Professor Nathan Grills writes in this Pursuit article, India’s health system is now overwhelmed, the peak is yet to come and when it does, it is estimated that the country may see 13,000 deaths a day.

Many of us know people directly impacted by the crisis unfolding in India and many have asked whether there is something they can do to help. It’s hard to see this human suffering writ large and we know, too, that the world cannot return to a sense of normality until all countries have COVID-19 under control. 

At the faculty, we’ve heard directly from leaders at our partner health organisations in India: CMC VelloreEmmanuel Hospital Association and The Catholic Health Association of India, all working on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis. We have deep connections with these three partners – including active clinical training and research collaborations.

Their healthcare networks reach millions of people throughout all of India and they are in desperate need of ICU equipment including ventilators, patient monitors, infusion pumps, Bi-Pap machines and oxygen cylinders; funding to support more hospital beds; PPE like N95 masks, face shields and full bio-suits; and patient support funds to subsidise the cost of treatment for socioeconomically disadvantaged patients. They tell us the most impactful way to help is through financial donation.

If you’re in a position to contribute, please consider supporting the fundraising efforts of our partners via the links below:

  • CMC Vellore: Upsizing to 1500 COVID-19 beds and requesting support to purchase PPE, medications, ICU equipment and other supplies.
  • Emmanuel Hospital Association emergency relief appeal: 20 charitable hospitals in rural India serving the poor. Requesting support to purchase PPE, medications, ICU equipment and other supplies.
  • The Sister Mary Glowrey Training Initiative: responding to COVID-19 across 3500 health facilities across in India. The University of Melbourne is helping increase the Catholic Health Association of India’s capacity to respond to COVID-19.

In the meantime, you can learn more about the crisis and our response through an episode of the Australia India Institute’s podcast featuring Nathan in conversation with Dr Haripriya Rangan and Professor Muthupandian Ashokkumar.

For colleagues emotionally impacted by the crisis in India, please do remember that the free and confidential Employee Assistance Program is available to all staff.

Warm regards,
Professor Jane Gunn
Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
University of Melbourne