BENGALURU: Bangalore Baptist Hospital has launched Mercy Drops, a new initiative, with the participation of the community. Here, one can donate healthcare support equipment such as hospital beds, nebulizers, stretchers, wheelchairs, bathing chairs, and so on. “I went through the experience of using these equipment and I understand the value of donating or borrowing them. I had to go through a lot of people to get a wheelchair,” said Shalini Saraswathi, a quadruple amputee who lost her arms and limbs to a rare disease called rickettsial in 2012, while launching this non-profit and volunteer-driven centre at the Bangalore Baptist Hospital Campus.
The hospital is the designated District Disability Rehabilitation Centre for Bengaluru Rural district. The Mercy Drop team has gathered over 100 such devices and equipment that can be borrowed. Sunny Kuruvilla, associate director of the hospital said, “We encourage people to give what they do not need so we can facilitate to give it to someone in need. These will be available from Monday.”
He added, “The idea occurred to us when the palliative care team was doing house visits and found that many could not afford mobility aids. Some others had the equipment but those were of little use after the patient’s demise or recovery.” To borrow expensive items, a partial refundable deposit will be asked and a nominal fee for disinfection or repairs has to be paid. It also provides information on availability of blood, home care and associated requirement.
Dr Naveen Thomas, director, Bangalore Baptist Hospital, said the main focus was to cater to those in need of palliative care and the specially-abled. “We have catered to over 60,000 patients in the rehabilitation centre and hope to further help the needy,” he said, adding that there are 25 volunteers who will be running the facility. “We just provided a forum for this service. It is run by the volunteers and for the community,” he told CE. In addition to reuse concept of healthcare equipment, the building of the NGO is recycled from metal containers.