The pioneers of social reforms show us how a simple idea can be proved benevolent for millions of people who are suffering due to a shortage of medicines and the absence of any possible means to earn a livelihood. Despite being the most fatal disaster of the century, COVID 19 and its possible impact brings out the stories of a number of heroes who did not think twice to devote their time and spend earnings during this difficult time to help the people in dire need of food and medicines.
Mumbai-based doctor couple, Dr. Raina Ranney and Dr. Marcus Ranney, are two such good Samaritans who used their knowledge of the medical field and zeal to aid helpless people to create a Covid relief platform called MedsForMore that is aimed to collect excess medicines from Covid survivors and provide them to the patients who can’t avail those medicines because of their high price range.
Meds for More collects all types of unused medicines including paracetamol, Fabiflu, antibiotics, inhalers, pain relievers, steroids, vitamins, antacids, among others that are being used by doctors to treat COVID-19 patients.
In a country like India where the population is close to 1.3 billion, a pandemic like COVID 19 no doubt drains the medical professionals and healthcare resources. As a result, several cities of India had to experience an acute shortage of medicines, vaccines, hospital beds, and oxygen cylinders.
On the other hand, these expensive medicines and injections go to waste as soon as the patient recovers from the disease. This thought influenced the doctor couple to make a bridge between the needy and surplus. With the help of its more than 1000 ambassadors, this initiative spread across 12 cities has been able to recover more than 500 kg of medicines to date.
It started when Dr. Marcus was working as a BMC doctor in the slums of Mumbai during the first wave of COVID and was really touched by the plight of underprivileged communities who were suffering due to the inaccessibility of basic facilities. He discussed this sad situation with his wife Dr. Raina Ranney and together they started this initiative on May 01, 2021, after their domestic worker’s son was tested Covid positive.
To help him out, they sent a message to their building WhatsApp group asking for surplus medicine as there were three patients in the building who came out from their isolation at that time. When the leftover medicine helped that guy to survive, they wanted to start it on a large scale and within ten days of its launch, they had received contributions from at least 100 buildings and collected 20 kg of medicines. At the same time, they received lots of requests from across the city to implement the same in their neighborhood too.
The procedure of collecting and segregating the medicines was not an easy task at all. Started with only eight volunteers and 45 buildings, Meds for More, initially known as Robin Hood Army, collected the required medicines, checked its quality and expiry dates, and sent them to the NGOs from where it is sent to the health centers to donate to the underprivileged. Donors from across the cities can visit the website, register with their addresses, and can donate anything mentioned in the list of medicine and equipment that the project is accepting.
The medicines can be collected from a donor’s house through a logistics and transportation partner. Volunteers are welcome from any of the societies and buildings. Once they sign up for the project, they will receive a starter pack with all the instructions on how to collect the medicines from their respective buildings and drop them at the collection center.
Presently, Meds for More has partnered with a number of NGOs like Goonj, Doctors for You, Ratnanidhi Charitable Trust, Karnataka Health Promotion Trust, and Rotary Club Queens Necklace to ensure these collections reach primary health care centers in rural India.