INDIA. NewDelhi: Turn Your Concern Into Action (TYCIA) Foundation, a non-profit organization launched Oxygen cylinder equipped Auto Ambulance service for the residents of Delhi. Coronavirus patients and their relatives can avail the service of Auto-Ambulance to reach out to hospitals in need. The services can be booked through +91-9818430043 or 011-41236614.
Service available in these localities
Auto ambulance service is currently available around Anand Vihar, AIIMS, Dilshad Garden, Munirka. In the second phase, more areas will be covered to help people reach out to the hospitals when in need. Currently 10 Auto-Ambulance are available 24 hours in the city.
Auto Ambulance saving lives
Recently an auto driver, Javed Khan, in Bhopal has fully converted his three-wheeler into a service ambulance amid the rising cases in the city. People have come together with such initiatives to support people facing challenges occurred due to poor healthcare infrastructure in the country during the pandemic.
Transcontinental Times spoke with Mr. Tabish Bilal, Program Manager, TYCIA Foundation to know more about the recently launched initiative of Auto Ambulance in Delhi. The organization has been working on a unique model to provide oxygen cylinders to the patients. With a team of around 15 volunteers, they were managing to provide logistics, procure oxygen cylinders and respond to the queries. Their team reached out to families who had spare oxygen cylinders due to Covid recovery or because someone in their families have lost the battle with Covid. They made an arrangement to lend it to people in distress for 24 hours. Meanwhile, families of these patients could buy time to explore other resources to make further arrangements.
They have been receiving around 1000 calls a day from people enquiring about the availability of oxygen cylinders, Remdesivir injections, other medicines and for plasma donations. Most of the SOS messages were about the need of ambulance for shifting the patients to the hospitals.
The team identified that mostly people were aware about the basic protocols on how to manage while patient is being transferred. Anybody could access the knowledge about How to connect cylinders with oxygen mask, open it and use it. The primary need was of moving wheels with steady supply of oxygen to transfer patients with mild symptoms and oxygen level between 85-90.
Auto-ambulance drivers and their training
TYCIA Team got in touch with the auto driver union (informal groups of auto drivers sharing same stands in different locations) and identified 10 auto drivers who were keen to be a part of this initiative. Seeking permission from government officials and for the safety of auto drivers from any police harassment, the team reached out to AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh. Singh extended his complete support for this initiative and helped in spreading the message.
TYCIA works with doctors of Indian origin based abroad under their programs ‘Doctors in Diaspora’. Some of these doctors imparted 1 day training to the auto drivers. Drivers were trained to manage in PPE kits, stay protected from the virus while on the move.
Free service for patients
The Auto-ambulance drivers will not charge any money from the passengers. TYCIA will bear the cost of their daily allowance from the funds received as donations. The auto drivers are divided to work in 2 shifts as the service is available 24 hours.
Bilal shared that per day expenditure for each auto comes roughly around ₹3000. This includes CNG, protective gear, driver allowance, oxygen cylinder tanks and fittings. TYCIA team is working towards adding at least 10 more Auto Ambulance in the next few days.