Western Trust and Sikh Association team up to get vital breathing apparatus to India in example of ‘true humanity’ says Amerjit (Simon) Singh Nagra

Staff at Altnagelvin have been described as ‘heroes’ and ‘true humanitarians’ after procuring life-saving positive airway pressure machines for colleagues battling the lethal COVID-19 crisis in India.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 10:32 am

Dr Mukesh Chugh, consultant anaesthetist and Mr. Neal McAlister, Principal Critical Care Technologist at the Western Trust and their colleagues managed to secure 13 boxes of machines along with disposables and accessories.

These are now to be shipped to India which, during a devastating surge of SARS-COV-2 over the past month, has run critically low on oxygen and vital medical equipment including BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) and CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) breathing support machines.

Though a huge country with a massive population the COVID-19 data for India is sobering. Up until Wednesday of this week there had been 25,496,330 recorded cases and 283,248 deaths on the sub-continent.

The Derry equipment is being shipped to India through the Northern Ireland Sikh Association (NISA) charity’s existing logistics network to ensure it gets to the people who need it.

Mr. Amerjit (Simon) Singh Nagra, the association’s C.E.O. and Treasurer, said it will be of immense use during the ongoing pandemic.

After receiving the machines he thanked the management of the Western Trust on behalf of the charity as well as on behalf of all ‘the Indians living in the north and the voiceless in India’.

“This is true humanity at work and I cannot praise them enough, these people are heroes and should be role models for all people across the globe,” he said.

The Western Trust praised Dr. Chugh, Mr. McAlister and the Critical Care Team at Altnagelvin Hospital for the generous donation of the vital equipment that will now support clinical teams attending the victims of the COVID-19 crisis in India.

“The current wave of COVID-19 within India has seen an urgent need within the Critical Care Units for oxygen delivery devices.

“Our staff have donated 10 CPAP devices that are specially designed to work with lower oxygen consumption making them more efficient in times when supplies of oxygen are low,” the Trust stated.

Mr. Nagra said the initiative exemplified what his ‘beloved’ home city was all about and represented an excellent humanitarian effort by the local Irish and Indian community in Derry.