As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, healthcare systems around the world were severely strained. The situation in India was no different and the demand for medical oxygen grew nearly tenfold.
Our teams across products focussed on making sure people had the information and tools they needed to stay informed, connected, and safe. We also looked at supporting nonprofits that were working on the front lines through our philanthropic arm Google.org. We announced grant support totalling approximately $15 million USD (109 Crore INR) to Give and PATH for the procurement and installation of oxygen generation plants in healthcare facilities in high-need and rural locations.
We’re pleased that a total of 76 oxygen generation plants have now been installed in over 20 states and union territories across the country, providing immediate relief to people, but also helping in the creation of a self-sufficient, equitable, and sustainable oxygen access ecosystem for the long-term.
Serving the needs of thousands of patients, these plants are helping with medical surgeries and in the treatment of a range of respiratory conditions beyond COVID-19. In addition to strengthening the healthcare system’s resilience well into the future, the grant has also enabled training of almost 3000 medical professionals, and sensitization of over 7000 stakeholders across government, nonprofits, and industry, to the appropriate and judicious use of the oxygen plants.
Especially for health facilities in hard-to-reach and remote districts, this important resource for oxygen generation empowers them to provide a wider array of medical services locally that were once difficult due to a dependence on oxygen cylinders.
Neeraj Jain, Country Director, PATH India
“The support from Google.org was timely and enabled us to adopt a no-one-left-behind approach that emphasized targeted interventions. PATH has always espoused forging partnerships to advance health equity and this initiative is a testament to purpose-led collaboration across private, public, and nonprofit sectors. We are glad that these plants are enabling access to respiratory care even beyond COVID-19 in some of the remotest part of the country, from the high altitude Kargil district in Ladakh to Gangasagar, an island in the Bay of Bengal.”
Atul Satija, Founder 2.0 & CEO, Give
“During COVID's second wave, while Give was working on the ground providing oxygen concentrators and cylinders to patients in need, we realized that what hospitals really required was access to oxygen throughout the year through oxygen generation plants. The Google.org grant was crucial to enabling Give and PATH to identify, install, and commission hospitals that would benefit most from such plants. These plants have provided hospitals the capacity to serve patients across over 20 states and union territories. When organizations such as Google place their trust in us, there is no limit to the impact that social sector organizations like ours can have.”
Rethu Krishna, Nazareth Hospital, Meghalaya
“Our health facility was just not prepared to handle the burdens that accompanied the pandemic. With the availability of the PSA plant, the difficulties and financial cost of procuring medical oxygen for our facility has greatly reduced.”
As India emerges from the shadow of the pandemic, we’re deeply humbled to support PATH and Give in contributing to build health equity in the country and strengthen the foundations of the healthcare system for the future.