As the pandemic continues to challenge every nook and corner of our healthcare sector, which is struggling to put up with the influx of patients (Covid-19 related and otherwise), we are informed through a recent report in this paper about volunteering organisations and individuals who are stepping up to assist patients in Mymensingh. A Phulpur-based volunteering organisation took the initiative to run a 20-bed isolation centre, as well as set up three more in surrounding areas, and is now ready to start a free oxygen service, with aid from donors, for critical Covid-19 patients in the district. Upon the doctors' recommendation, the volunteers take the cylinders to the referred hospital to provide oxygen support to the patients.
Apart from setting up the isolation centres, the organisation—with support from 100 volunteers who work by rotation—further provides necessary food and medicine for patients who cannot afford the treatment, with contributions from its own administration. The foundation has extended its services to other centres across Mymensingh too and aims to set-up a total of 500 isolation beds in the near future. Doctors from Phulpur Upazila Health Complex are assigned to maintain contact with the isolation centres round the clock to ensure uninterrupted medical support.
We praise the humanitarian spirit and the timely initiative taken by the volunteers in Mymensingh. At a time when the number of people being infected is on the rise and deprived patients are finding it harder to bear the cost of battling Covid-19 and avail the necessary treatment, the above case sets a perfect example that our fight against the pandemic is a collaborative one. We also urge the donor organisations and the health ministry to extend their support to such initiatives. If it can be successfully replicated across other districts, it will go a long way to help ease the burden on our healthcare sector and enable treatment for those who need it the most.