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Summary of major AKMG Activities from 2021

AKMG Helping Hands Project

We Celebrated Kerala Piravi on the zoom platform on October 31, 2021, Launching the AKMG Helping Hands Project on the auspicious occasion of Kerala Piravi.

Thank you Sri. G. Venugopal and Kalaimamani Smt. Dasyam Gopika Varma for supporting us and addressing the gathering. It was very apt to have two acclaimed and amazingly talented artists from Kerala.The Helping Hands project will support traditional arts and artists who lost their livelihoods during this pandemic. This initiative will hopefully empower them and help them continue their important and inspiring work. We hope this project will stimulate others to embark on similar journeys and reach more people who need help.

COVID crisis in India: Humans are Capable of Great Things

"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."
Mahatma Gandhi
AKMG COVID-Support Project Interim Report (June 2021)
Prepared by Dr. Nigil Haroon, President AKMG
on behalf of Dr. Subramanya Bhatt, Immediate Past President,
Dr. Sunil Kumar, Chair, AKMG HS and all members of AKMG

We may be forced to stay apart, but as a community we have marshalled together again at this time of need. Humanitarian services are at the core of AKMG's activities and existence. We will move mountains to help our fellow beings. The magnitude of the pandemic and the catastrophic images are shocking. It is only natural to feel small and disheartened. But AKMG has never sat back. As Gandhiji taught us, it is very important that we act for the right cause, no matter what the outcome maybe.

We started with the aim of raising $200,000 and we did surpass that goal within a few weeks itself. But the ripple effect of our bold and committed actions go beyond that. This 'AKMG COVID-Support' project has grown to become the largest philanthropic undertaking in the history of AKMG. Our meticulous planning and the help of our longstanding friends in Kerala helped us develop an effective project that has already made a significant difference in controlling the spread and care of COVID patients. Over 17 community organizations have joined hands with AKMG and are actively promoting this project beyond our immediate reach. Our partnership with GlobalMedic in Toronto, opened many doors. We were granted free air transportation for our goods through DHL and Qatar Airways, stretching the generous donations. Kindred, a chain of healthcare service institutions in the USA, donated $20,000. Finally, our project received a major boost in Canada with a large donation of masks from Pri-Med, a major manufacturer of medical supplies. Your support resulted in this effort growing into the largest project undertaken by AKMG.

Situation in April 2021: High level of community spread of COVID infections in India. Increasing test positivity rate in Kerala and low bed availability in major hospitals is hinting at a major crisis evolving.

Background: Many organizations are active in providing much needed help to India. Millions of dollars are flowing into India from large corporations and other countries to help support the government. Most organizations were concentrating on meeting the rising oxygen demand in large cities. Slow rate of vaccinations will not have an impact on the spread for the next 3-6 months. There is a potential for more waves of COVID infection before herd immunity can be achieved. There is a high risk of resistant variants appearing if we do not prevent the spread now.

Initial Assessment: We should concentrate on AKMG's strengths. We need local support in India for our project to succeed in a timely manner. The maximum impact in saving lives would be achieved by being proactive than reactive. We need to act in areas that are impactful yet currently being neglected. GlobalMedic, a reputable international disaster relief agency, has partnered with us before in our flood relief efforts in Kerala. GlobalMedic has excellent logistics support throughout the world and would be an ideal partner for us.

AKMG COVID Support project: The AKMG COVID Support project has four major aims.
1. Protect healthcare workers
2. Reduce community transmission
3. Launch domiciliary care program
4. Support free COVID and non-COVID consultations through telemedicine

1. Domiciliary care program launched with the help of Indian Medical Association. Covid patients with mild disease will be supported in their homes. The plan is to have one health care worker linked to each patient for support. For safe monitoring pulse oximeters will be provided.
2. Student helpline launched where patients call in for help. The nearest available pulse oximeter is identified by the student from the database. The patient's care givers are directed to the facility for picking up the oximeter for free of cost use. The oximeters are all documented, returned after use, and sanitized for reuse.
3. Partnering with IMA I-Safe program with a network of 1000 small and medium clinics throughout Kerala. Two weekly educational sessions and update meetings to support and empower healthcare workers in primary and secondary care as well as in rural areas.
4. Partnering with NORKA, KMSCL and IMA to distribute much needed KN95masks and Health Canada approved, ASTM F2100 standard level 3 masks throughout Kerala.
5. Ensuring a network of private and public health sector to meet the high demand for health care. To ensure that non-COVID care is not ignored and to continue educating the public on the necessity of continuing to diligently following public health measures.
6. AKMG partnered with Innovation Incubator Holding to develop the DronaCare telemedicine App.
7. Over 15 community organizations have joined hands with AKMG in support.

Materials Supplied in the project (including those pending at the time of interim report)

Item Total Number Current Status
ASTM F2100 standard level 3 masks 20 million Shipment in batches
KN95 Masks 146,000 Received by KMSCL/IMA Distribution in progress
Pulse Oximeters 2000 Received by IMA and launched domiciliary care program

Pictures speak a thousand words

Food Drive

AKMG Georgia chapter under the leadership of Dr. Shanker Unnkrishnan decided to collect funds and join hands with Atlanta Food bank to feed the hungry during Christmas time. We donated $2512 on Dec 19,2020 which will help to provide over 10000 meals to the needy and homeless people in and around Atlanta. Several other AKMG chapters have followed this lead including Canada team under the leadership of Drs Nisha and Nigil Haroon.

Following AKMG members have generously contributed to our Fund raising efforts and we appreciate them. Dr Mary Ninan, Drs Anu and Subra Bhat, Drs Reema Mallick and Shanker Unnikrishnan, Dr Teresa Kaltra, Dr Praharsha Menon, Rani and Dr John Attokaren, Dr Sheela Thomas and Tommy George, Dr Ashley Joseph, Drs Elizabeth Mammen and Prasad, Dr Sreekala Satheesh and Satheesh, Dr Lizy and Anthny Thaliath, Dr Ravi Meleti and Sreekala, Dr Thomas Chacko.

Kerala Flood Relief

Report of activities by AKMG

Our beautiful Kerala met with an unprecedented disaster by August 2018, Kerala received close to 3 times the usual amount of rainfall resulting in over 30 dams across the state brimming with water at dangerous levels. What ensued were the worst floods of the century resulting in over 500 deaths and a million people displaced. The entire state felt the impact of this tragedy with significant damages to the infrastructure including public and private property.

AKMG started a fund raising campaign on two fronts. AKMG-HS collected funds from USA following an initial communication sent out to the members on social media and by email. We were informed by our contacts in Kerala that in the immediate after math of the floods, the most important need was to provide clean water to the people who are in Kuttanadu. AKMG-Canada was charged to head this project that was named 'JeevaJalam' or water for life project. AKMG teamed up with GlobalMedic, an international disaster relief agency that has worked in over 67 countries including India, to provide clean water filters and pumps in Kerala. GlobalMedic started its operations in Wayanadu and Idukki by providing the local villages with community point of source water pumps that can service 1000 individuals each. Over 15 such pumps were installed.

AKMG-Canada sought community help and engaged the local Mississauga Kerala Association to participate in the Jeevajalam project. This increased the awareness of AKMG's activities among other Malayali associations and furthered the reach of our fund raising efforts. With the help of grants raised by GlobalMedic and the incredible donations made by our members, the Jeevajalam Project grew to $120,000. This helped us send a total of 850 RainFresh water filtration units from Toronto and an additional 1700 ImerPure filters from a French company based in India to Kuttanadu. Thus over 2500 households were provided these filters in Kuttanadu and 15000 people per day received water in Wayanadu and Idukki through our point of source pumps.

Bravo AKMG! We must all be proud of what we achieved and thank you all for opening your hearts and purses at this needy hour.

It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.
Mother Teresa
You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.
John Bunyan
You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
Khalil Gibran