The crisis in India is significant and is still worsening. India has surpassed devastating milestones, like the most COVID-19 cases in a single day and an alarming death rate with total fatalities at 200,000 and rising. The Maharashtra region, which includes Mumbai and Pune, two of India’s most populous and prosperous cities, are reported to be some of the worst-hit areas in the country. The healthcare system across India is crippled. Hospitals are running out of beds, oxygen, and basic medical facilities and are charging exorbitant rates to treat patients.
To help support, the Western Union Foundation is partnering with United Way India (UWI) to provide direct aid through medical supplies and at-home care kits, expected to benefit up to 5,000 households.
UWI will manage the distribution of respiratory support machines – particularly to help support patients from getting worse. UWI will also deliver at-home care kits suitable to treat non-critical COVID patients outside the hospital by equipping them with COVID monitoring techniques, oximeters to monitor blood oxygen levels, and thermometers. The at-home care kits enable families to monitor their symptoms without a hospital trip that risks exposure and further burdening the already overwhelmed health care facilities. This program primarily serves patients across the hardest-hit, most remote, and lowest-income communities in the region.
“A core mission of the Western Union Foundation is the support of vulnerable people in times of extreme need,” said Executive Director Elizabeth Roscoe. “Working with United Way India, we are hopeful that our resources will help the people of the Maharashtra region as they grapple with this crisis.
Our COVID-19 response with United Way India is part of our holistic response efforts since the pandemic began. We provided immediate relief to support 20 programs in 13 countries at the onset of the pandemic in February 2020. Additionally, the Foundation supported economic recovery by providing 25 scholarships to international students, workforce training, and small business supports. Recently we announced our continued support for communities to build resilience with vaccine education and dissemination so they can thrive post COVID-19.