Tata Memorial Centre is allotting COVID support to over 200 cancer grid hospitals in Mumbai & across
Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai will provide 38 thousand O2 concentrators & 3 lakh N95 masks to the National Cancer Grid
Famed to be the saving grace of cancer patients in India, the Tata Memorial Centre is now also sourcing and allocating medical equipment to over 200 hospitals of the National Cancer Grid. All 7 of its centres at Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Sangrur, Varanasi, Guwahati, Vishakhapatnam and Muzaffarpur, have continued cancer care throughout the pandemic and this will be progressed further with the supply of COVID resources. On Sunday, it received 81,000 kg of medical equipment including 3,800 portable oxygen concentrators along with 300,000 N95 masks for distribution to hospitals across India. Reportedly, these are the third and fourth shipment that the Centre has sourced in the past 2 weeks.
Treating COVID-19 in cancer patients
The Tata Memorial Centre is a tertiary cancer centre under the Department of Atomic Energy, which has envisaged the National Cancer Grid (NCG) as a network of existing and future cancer hospitals in India. It sees up to 100,000 new cancer cases each year where over 66% of patients are provided treatment at a highly subsidised rate or at zero charges.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tata Memorial Centre has stepped up to protect cancer patients who are more vulnerable to a much critical coronavirus attack, than others. At the same time, the risk of untreated cancer looms a large threat as it can be more fatal than COVID-19.
As yet, the 7 centres of the Tata Memorial Centre has managed to treat over 80,000 cancer patients despite the pandemic rage. Additionally, about 2,000 cancer patients who suffered from COVID-19 have also been cured. This purpose will now be pursued with a streamlined focus as relayed by the NCG Coordinator, Dr Pramesh who said, "We are collecting requests for equipment and consumables from hospitals across the NCG, and mapping the current incidence of Covid-19 infections to determine where the greatest needs are and prioritizing government and charitable organisations to finalise the allocation (of oxygen concentrators)."
Need for effective oxygen provisions in hospitals
Rajendra Badwe, the Director of the Tata Memorial Centre relayed the aims of this initiative and highlighted, "We have the singular focus of getting these units to the hospitals throughout India so that many can breathe well. This ambition soared with the need to identify lightweight, portable, high-flow oxygen concentrators that would have the maximum impact in saving lives, amid the second wave.
In June 2020, The Tata Memorial Centre partnered with Mumbai's civic body (BMC) and the Maharashtra government, to help set up an ad-hoc 518 bed and 10 ICU bed COVID-19 facility at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai. On the advent of the infection swell, the team of experts realised special provisions had to be created or sourced, especially for the hospitals that don't have oxygen pipelines.