Bengaluru: Even as the coronavirus pandemic occupies the undivided attention of the health community in India, around 300 patients ailing from kidney problems in Bengaluru continue to get their dialysis free of cost.
This has been made possible due to the efforts of the Bangalore Kidney Foundation (BKF), which has been giving free dialysis since April 15 to all those who have lost their livelihoods and incomes due to the lockdown. Most of their patients belong to the economically weaker sections of society and couldn't keep up with their treatment schedules purely because they could not afford it.
"We usually conduct around 120-130 dialysis per day, but during the first few days of the lockdown we saw a dramatic fall to about 80-90 dialysis per day. So we formed a core team of administration, fund raising and medical staff to ensure that we do whatever was required to bring the dialysis back to 100%," said Karthik Sriram, one of the trustees at BKF.
While free food, ration and transport have all brought out the best of our people in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, BKF has come up with a concept of comprehensive renal care, where they not only take care of the patients transportation to and from the dialysis centres, but also provide them with nutritious meals, protective equipment and supplements.
"Our patient profile is mostly daily wagers, auto drivers, maids whose lives have got completely disrupted due to the lockdown. We reached out to our donors and started a special Covid-19 relief fund that could in turn support these patients." Sriram added.
The 55 member medical and support staff at BKF have been tirelessly working to ensure no patient is neglected. Patients usually have to go through at least three sessions per week, making dialysis an expensive affair.
And while the average cost for dialysis varies from Rs 2500 to Rs 5000 per session, BKF has been raising funds to the tune of Rs 1 crore to support these free of cost dialysis.