Hurdles of IAD`s Lymphoedema Journey
An Appeal for support by Institute of Applied Dermatology
The dream of IAD, to provide adequate care for all Lymphatic Filariasis patients at an affordable cost was shattered when the Indian government imposed the countrywide lockdown on March 24th to prevent the spread of the Corona Virus. COVID-19 has created an unexpected economic crisis everywhere. The health care services are not exempt from this, nor IAD and its morale. Twenty years of IAD’s selfless service came to a screeching halt. Travel restrictions, fear to visit hospitals, job loss, and uncertainty of the future all piled up, and patients turned away from hospitals. IAD’s in-flow of the patients drastically reduced to a single digit. Our staff went jobless and voluntarily took unpaid leaves to reduce the economic burden of IAD.
Despite the travel restrictions being lifted, people still curtail their outside activities. The economy is still in shambles; job loss is a daily reality. Lymphatic Filariasis patients generally come from poor economic conditions. It has been IAD’s policy to treat every patient who walks in with warmth and care regardless of his social and financial status. About one-fourth of the patients have been treated at a concessional rate, thanks to generous donors. We have recognized a few LF patients who urgently require medical care for their condition. Still, we cannot provide them with treatment due to a lack of donations. We have requested our highly skilled treatment staff to work voluntarily in this challenging situation. But this will not run for long, and IAD is slowly bleeding dry.
The belief that the health care sector is immune to the recession and demand for medical service is relatively constant every time is no more valid. COVID-19 proved it wrong, with many hospitals cutting down their services. Health care workers are losing their jobs. IAD too is at the brink of collapse. So we appeal for financial assistance to safeguard our highly skilled staff as well as treat our physically disabled and economically weak patients. IAD has survived due to generous philanthropists and its self-generated income till today, but now without pay, we rely on you to support us financially. We would be grateful for this gesture, and so will the thousands of patients who can benefit from your contribution to enhancing the quality of their lives