PHOTOS: Senator Singer and Dr. Rajesh Mohan See Off Shipment of Medical Equipment to Covid-Ravaged India

Senator Bob Singer and Dr. Rajesh Mohan, President, Global Impact Foundation, recently saw off a shipment of life-saving oxygen concentrators to help save lives at risk due to the COVID pandemic in India. Senator Singer has always been a leader and at the forefront of many humanitarian efforts and an ardent supporter of the healthcare community and the people that they serve.

Many organizations and individuals have been trying to help mitigate the humanitarian crisis caused by the COVID pandemic in India, where hundreds of thousands became infected and tens of thousands have died in recent months, overwhelming the country’s healthcare system.

It was heartbreaking to see so many people dying in India due to lack of oxygen. In the mind of many including Dr. Rajesh Mohan, an interventional cardiologist practicing in Ocean County, NJ – no one should be dying due to lack of oxygen.

Dozens of organizations have been sending hundreds of oxygen concentrators to India, but many of them were not reaching the patients and doctors on the frontlines in a timely manner. Many remained stuck in warehouses and storage units, as per multiple news stories as well as the doctors on the frontlines.

Having led the revival of Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus in Lakewood over the past several years as Chief Medical Officer, as well as having led the COVID response of the hospital since the beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Mohan knew firsthand the supply chain challenges that were prevalent in the US. With a population that is almost four times that of the US, it was obvious to Dr. Mohan that the magnitude of supply chain challenges in Indian were enormous and had already started impeding the reach of life-saving oxygen supplies to patients.

As a member of the Executive Team of the Monmouth and Ocean County American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (MOCAAPI), Dr. Mohan raised the possibility of not only providing assistance but providing it directly to the frontlines.

“We could not just sit back and not do something about the challenges,” he said.

With the limitations in the reach of local organizations, Dr. Mohan started a GoFundMe campaign – “India Needs Oxygen Now – Help Doctors Save Patients!” Due to the overwhelming response of the medical, nursing, and hospital staff in Monmouth and Ocean County and the Lakewood Jewish community, Dr. Mohan established the Global Impact Foundation (GIFT) – a non-profit organization.

Dr. Mohan brought on board local physician leaders – Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Dr. Avinash Gupta and Dr. Awani Kumar – as co-organizers of this campaign. In addition, FedEx agreed to concessional rates for shipping charges so that GIFT was able to procure more oxygen concentrators for distribution in India. Funds obtained in this campaign are being used for procuring, shipment, and delivery of essential supplies directly to doctors – bypassing the entire supply chain – thanks to the exemption from customs duties and reduced taxes on such COVID lifesaving supplies by the Indian government. Fountain View Care Center helped in procuring and packaging these oxygen concentrators as well as providing a staging ground for shipments.

Within a few days of starting this unique campaign, Dr. Mohan and his team had already started shipping oxygen concentrators to individual doctors in India. With the latest shipment, GIFT would have shipped oxygen concentrators to doctors in New Delhi, Gujarat, Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur and Uttar Pradesh – a total of 8 different Indian states. Instead of getting caught up in a broken supply chain, the life-saving equipment were delivered straight to the doorsteps of doctors treating COVID patients in large and small towns across the country.

“It was a steep learning curve, but thanks to the FedEx interlocutors, it feels like I have become an international shipping expert by now,” said Dr. Mohan. “We know it is a drop in the ocean given the magnitude of the tragedy in India, but even if we save a few lives, I believe all our efforts and time will have been well spent. As doctors, we always wish we could do more – both here in the US and for the world.”


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