Providing COVID-19 Relief in India and Worldwide

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Urology Update

As India battled against COVID-19 earlier this year, the country faced an acute oxygen shortage. In an effort to assist, CHOP urologists partnered with many of our colleagues across various specialties within our hospital, as well as Penn Medicine and others in the local community who spearheaded relief efforts to send oxygen concentrators to our internationally-based colleagues.

Thanks to $50,000 each from CHOP and Penn Medicine in support of this important effort, a team of physicians from our region, including CHOP pediatric urologist Aseem Shukla, MD, and Penn urology resident Ruchika Talwar, MD, purchased 100 10-liter oxygen concentrators. These went to four hospitals in India, including 35 units to Ahmedabad's Civil Hospital — a partner hospital for an annual global surgical collaboration organized by CHOP’s Division of Urology. Additional funding led to construction of oxygen plants in hospitals in northern and western states in India.

We are proud of the entire CHOP and Penn communities for their dedication to helping COVID-19 patients around the world.

"My first and foremost concern is for the patients, that's my role as a physician," said Dr. Talwar in an interview with CNN when news of the equipment donation went public. "We're just a group of physicians trying to get help where help is needed."

"Those were incredibly busy days as we continuously assessed needs in India, sourced needed products and managed a supply chain to get them in the hands of doctors at hospitals where we wanted lifesaving oxygen concentrators to go," adds Dr. Shukla. "To know that CHOP and Penn came to us, without our even asking, to offer logistical and financial support to help hospitals in India despite the challenges here at home, remains one of the most gratifying experiences of this entire journey. Truly made me proud to call these institutions home."

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