A Hull charity that supports people who suffer with sleep disordered breathing has stepped in to help the Covid-19 fight in India.
Hope2Sleep, based in Ings Road, east Hull, today sent 122 ventilators and 95 oxygen concentrators, as well as associated equipment including tubing, masks and filters, to try to help the thousands affected by the crisis in the country.
A second wave of the virus is rampaging through India and spreading to rural villages that are particularly ill-equipped to deal with the pandemic.
Kath Hope, chief executive and founder of Hope2Sleep, said: “About £130,000 worth of equipment has set off to India today that is going to hopefully help thousands of people.”
The charity raises awareness of and supports people with sleep apnoea (a condition where breathing stops and starts while sleeping) and sleep disordered breathing, and is the only walk-in supplier of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and non-invasive ventilation (NIV) products, drawing custom from sufferers around the world.
To sign up for the Hull Live newsletter, click here
Surplus equipment acquired by company Creo Medical to help in the UK’s battle with coronavirus last year, during the first wave, was directed to Hope2Sleep for distribution where it might later be needed.
“We did distribute some of it to UK hospitals in the second wave, but things are getting better here,” said Kath.
“I saw on TV all about what was happening in India – it’s much worse than here, there are children and pregnant women dying - and I thought, we have all this equipment but I don’t know how we are going to get it there.
“We tagged Matt Hancock and Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson but no one was replying, we did lots of research over the bank holiday weekend, and so were Creo Medical, and they came across the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO).
“They do absolutely wonderful work – hundreds of their UK based doctors are helping with virtual ward rounds in India via WhatsApp – and they arranged for the flight to take the equipment and we had equipment we could donate on top.
“The transport to get it to Heathrow has also been donated for free by Duthie Transport, based in Wales, who have come over to Hull to collect it.”
Dr Ramesh Mehta, president of BAPIO, said the cargo was expected to be flown to India tomorrow, carried free of charge by Qatar airways.
“The situation in India due to the Covid pandemic is disastrous,” said Dr Mehta. “BAPIO is grateful to Hope2Sleep and Creo Medical for the donation of much-needed oxygen-delivering equipment, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators.
“Their compassion and passion to provide help for the critical Indian scenario is commendable.”
BAPIO has set up special fund to acquire, transport and ensure credible distribution of lifesaving equipment, to help with “telemedicine” and to supply food to the needy in India.
You can donate direct to the BAPIO India COVID Fund with the bank sort code 30-90-66 and account number 00067914 or visit the GoFundMe page.