New Delhi: As the coronavirus pandemic rages on across both sides of the border and healthcare systems and authorities are under pressure to cope, it is regular people who have stepped up with some efforts of their own.
Plasma therapy involves the infusion of plasma from a recovered Covid-19 patient to a recovering one as a source of antibodies. On Tuesday, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said its study on plasma therapy (PLACID trial) is still ongoing, and that plasma therapy remains an experimental form of treatment for Covid-19 in India.
But that hasn’t stopped citizens from doing their bit to contribute to the fight against Covid. KAB Welfare Foundation, an NGO in India previously engaged in blood donation initiatives, has teamed up with software services company Signavio India and set up channels for connecting plasma donors to recipients.
Dhoondh.com, a website with a similar aim, was launched around mid-June by Adwitiya Mal and Mukul Pahwa, who claim the website attracted roughly 150 patients and 190 donors within a few days. Mal, a Delhi-based entrepreneur had experienced first-hand the difficulties in obtaining plasma when his father-in-law tested positive and needed it.
According to the website, coordinating between donors and recipients is a three-step process that involves registration, algorithm-based matching and, finally, passing on the donor’s details to the recipient. Registration involves a mandatory questionnaire for both patients and donors that inquires about blood group, recovery status from Covid-19 and other health issues. If after registration, there is a donor-recipient match, both parties are informed via email and contact information is shared.
Across the border, a Facebook group by a musician is giving hope
We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.
Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.
The group was created on 27 May by Lahore-based musician Zoraiz Riaz, who said 85 per cent of its members are looking for plasma while the rest are seeking medical supplies, oxygen, ventilators, injections for drugs and even information on hospital availability. This comes as the country registers 213,470 infections and more than 4,300 deaths.
According to the Facebook group’s bio the donation is meant to be free of charge, following the Islamic practice of “sadqa Jariya” or the act of voluntary charity.
According to Riaz, each request for plasma is screened by the group’s volunteers and requires medical documentation from physicians indicating that the treatment is viable. Members also offer home-cooked food for affected families and some have given ventilators and oxygen cylinders to hospitals. Also, donors are screened to ensure there is no sale of plasma.
Earlier, Pakistan’s Ministry of National Health Services had announced action against illegal trading of blood plasma and black marketing of life-saving drugs. As per the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act 2012, commercial dealing and trade of human organs and tissues is illegal in the country.
News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.