Published: 21st May 2021
Save the Children pledges to protect a million children and their families against the pandemic
The organisation has procured and is distributing 700 oxygen concentrators to public health centres across 11 states
Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and an overburdened healthcare system, a newborn baby's life in a small town was saved because of timely supply of an oxygen concentrator.
Save the Children has pledged to #ProtectAMillion children and their families against the pandemic. As part of this initiative, the leading NGO was able to supply a 5-litre oxygen concentrator to a Special Newborn Care Unit in Tonk, Rajasthan, just in time to save the baby's precious life.
Taking note of the sudden surge in the demand for oxygen and the potential stress of the demand on rural healthcare ecosystem, the organisation has procured and is distributing 700 oxygen concentrators to public health centres across 11 states. Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, Save the Children, India has provided critical care and services to underprivileged and marginalised children and their families and has impacted more than 5.57L lives.
In 2021, since the initial days of the second wave, the organisation scaled up implementing its initiatives across 57 districts in 12 states and two Union Territories, aiming to reach the interiors of India where the healthcare system is fragile and ill-equipped. It is providing oxygen support, medical aid, distributed COVID care kits, hygiene kits, at home care, and tele-consultation.
Save the Children India, in partnership with actress Huma Qureshi, is also raising funds for a 100-bed hospital in New Delhi to reduce the burden on the national capital's health infrastructure. Through their efforts in multiple states, the organisation has been ensuring the safety of frontline social workers by providing them with PPE kits that come with nitrile gloves, sanitizers, and triple-layered masks so that they can safely reach out to the community and make home visits to follow up on the wellbeing of children and pregnant women.
But the work doesn't stop at addressing medical emergencies. The pandemic has impacted millions of livelihoods and children across the country are grappling with the trauma caused due to unprecedented loss and grief, migration, and disruption of education. To tackle the growing child protection cases, a common fallout of any crisis, the organisation has been linking and referring all cases of children in need of care and protection to relevant government authorities and statutory structures such as CHILDLINE 1098, National/State Commission for Protection of Child Rights. Additionally, it is running trauma helplines for children in certain states, and on an average 80 calls are recorded daily. "While Save the Children is aggressively working with government agencies distributing oxygen concentrators and procuring resources for hospital beds, we are deeply aware of the enormous impact the pandemic and the months of lockdown have had on the mental health of children of our country and the loss of childhood. Through our outreach programmes, we aim to look beyond the medical needs and address the safety, health and nutrition, emotional wellbeing, education and rehabilitation of the affected children," said Sudarshan Suchi, CEO, Save the Children, India, while speaking about the pandemic response initiatives. "Considering that many children have lost their parents and guardians during this 2nd wave of the pandemic, Save the Children has strengthened its on-ground response and is working together with government authorities, CSOs, and the public at large to save the marginalised from illegal adoption and trafficking that could negatively impact their lives forever. We are certain that our efforts will help us in getting closer to our #ProtectAMillion mission soon."
In their response to the second COVID wave, Save the Children, has launched a mission to #ProtectAMillion and is committed to reaching an additional 1 million (10 Lakh) children and their families in 57 districts across 14 states and two UTs. The initiative humbly appeals to those who are thinking about the children in India to join the mission.