74th independence day of India

 

COVID-19 relief activities by the Indian Dentists’ Alliance in Kuwait (IDAK)

COVID-19 relief activities by the Indian Dentists’ Alliance in Kuwait (IDAK)

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As of 1st September 2020, the Ministry of Health Kuwait (MOH), had reported about 85,811 confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and 534 deaths. COVID-19 has affected more Indians than any other community in Kuwait. Disproportionate spread of COVID-19 among the Indian community in Kuwait created food insecurities, especially among the low-income families. As lockdowns were imposed, the crisis worsened, as hundreds of Indian families were deprived of their livelihood.

The Indian Dentists’ Alliance in Kuwait (IDAK) is a fellowship of Indian Dentist’s residing in Kuwait. IDAK has always been in the forefront of community service and did not waste any time in initiating efforts to provide relief to those affected and in assisting the MOH contain the pandemic.

at KGL camp Mahboula

IDAK launched massive efforts for supplying cooked food and dry rations to the families that were most affected. Food packets, each with 5kg rice, 2 liter Oil, 1 Kilo Sugar, 5kg Atta, 2kg pulses, 2 kilo onions and 2 kilo potatoes, were distributed to over 2600 plus families. “Several families were already on the edge of survival and now their situation is even worse.” said IDAK’s president Dr. Rajesh Alexander. According to him, relief efforts were kickstarted as early as Mid-April, even before the lockdown was imposed. Supplies were distributed mainly among taxi drivers, maids, barbers and other marginal workers, whose livelihood were greatly affected by the pandemic. Most of them had no source of income and were struggling to arrange food and other necessary provisions. Dr Rajesh said, “We could not help but get involved in providing assistance to these families”.

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Packing the essential kits at SOHP headquarters SalmiyaAs the pandemic spread rapidly, many of the quarantine centers were getting overwhelmed. IDAK was permitted to provide supplies to some of the centers which primarily catered to Indian patients. IDAK distributed cooked food packets, drinking water bottles and personal hygiene kits to these camps. IDAK’s General Secretary, Dr Jacob Lonappan said, “With the support of our volunteers, IDAK was able to distribute a total of about 6650 food packets, about 6000 bottles of drinking water and about 550 personal hygiene kits to the selected quarantine centers”.

In the early days of the outbreak, up to 80% of the COVID-19 cases in Kuwait were among Indians. Contact tracing is an essential public health measure that is vital in reducing the spread of the disease. MOH reached out to IDAK to assist them in conducting contact tracing of COVID-19 positive Indian patients. IDAK partnered with the Indian Doctors Forum (IDF) and carried out contact tracing from 10th April – 31st June. Dr Jitendra Ariga and Dr Roy Francis, from the School Oral Health Program and Dr Jagan Baskaradoss, from Kuwait University led the team of around 60 volunteers for contact tracing. Dr Jitendra said, “Contract tracing was successfully completed for 1360 COVID-19 positive Indians and we were able to identify around 6350 of their contacts. Through this effort, IDAK was able identify several hotspots of disease communication and notify the MOH on a daily basis.” 

IDAK continues its relief and humanitarian aid to the Indian community in Kuwait who are affected by this pandemic.

 

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