The second wave of COVID19 is raging across the country, paralyzing the existing healthcare infrastructure and causing unfortunate deaths of hapless citizens. One critical component of the ongoing crisis has been oxygen shortage in many city hospitals. Efforts are afoot on government, administrative and civil society levels to address this mammoth crisis and save lives.
One such warrior is Aparajita IAS, a 2018 batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre and currently the young dynamic SDM of Ballabgarh, Faridabad district. Aparajita thought of a smart way to streamline the distribution of medical oxygen among the COVID19 affected home isolated patients in her district, by establishing an Oxygen Refilling Management System. Today, the initiative is being run by the district administration of Faridabad in collaboration with the JC Bose University of Science and Technology, YMCA and its official alumni association, YMCA MOB who are providing volunteers and back-end support.
“It was a very troublesome time for the entire administration across the country as far as oxygen shortage was concerned. I thought that we need to do something to mitigate the pervasive chaos. Trying to devise a new system at a time of crisis is not a good idea. So I came up with the idea of streamlining the refilling system. I went to my Deputy Commissioner, Yadav Yashpal, IAS, and sought his permission to go ahead with the project,” said Aparajita IAS, the nodal officer of the oxygen system.
Ease the pain
“Earlier people used to stand in queue for 2-5 days to get their cylinders refilled. So we tried to rationalise the system. We gave tokens for patients we could serve. People were given time slots accordingly when they used to come and refill their cylinders. Now with online registration they can get their cylinders refilled in some hours,” Aparajita IAS said.
Owing to the success of the Oxygen Refilling Management System at Faridabad, it has now been incorporated in the Haryana state-wide mechanism via the “Oxygenhry.in” website.
The Faridabad district administration has also started a door-to-door oxygen refilling system wherein the oxygen cylinders get refilled and delivered at the door-steps of the patients within a few hours.
Initially patients in home isolation who need to refill their oxygen cylinders had to fill a registration form on Google doc where patients had to provide their Aadhar card details and SPO2 value with proof. Registration was being done from 9am in the morning till 9pm at night.
Patients can now register through the Oxygenhry web-portal. They need to fill in their name, aadhar number, address where oxygen is required, contact number and their oxygen level. Patients also need to upload their photograph with an oximeter showing the SPO2 level or the doctor’s prescription as proof. They can also choose the size of the cylinder which needs refilling.
The supply of oxygen is a major challenge. “Our oxygen supply was precarious which is why this system has been devised,” Aparajita IAS mentioned. “Moreover it has come to our notice that people are trying to black-market cylinders. Earlier, before the system was functional, some people used to get cylinders filled in order to sell them in the market at exorbitant prices. Now we have ensured that the system is only for the people of Faridabad after verification through certain documents like Aadhar card, residential proof and RT-PCR test reports. This has helped in curtailing the black-marketing of oxygen,” he disclosed.
Streamlining supply of essential medicines
In the face of huge demand and shortages of essential medicines, especially Remdesivir, Aparajita IAS has also created a portal wherein hospitals can directly raise demand for the medicine in the name of the patient after uploading the doctor’s prescription and filling in the registration number of the hospital.
“The district administration allocates the medicines to the hospitals, the hospitals collect it from us and give it to the specific critical patient for whom the demand has been raised. This was done to ensure that the medicine is available for everyone,” she said.
Message for all
“In a time when people are struggling, physically and emotionally, let us come together to help one another. If there is any instance of black-marketing, please feel free to inform us. The district administration of Faridabad is open to hearing and solving people’s problems,” signed off Aparajita IAS.
More power to you!