As part of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the UAE government’s Stay Home initiative, Aster Volunteers launched the ‘At Home’ digital initiative across its social media platforms and is conducting educational sessions on health and wellness for those at home, particularly families.
Moreover, the #FeedTheHungry initiative is one where Aster Volunteers has partnered with NGO’s and restaurants in Dubai to provide food supplies to those who have been affected by the pandemic.
Dr. Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and MD of Aster DM Healthcare, told Omnia Health Magazine: “We are proud to have delivered food packets and ration kits weighing 22kg each, which contain rice, flour, lentils, oil, sugar, salt, noodles, biscuits and dates, which can serve up to 314,489 meals as of 31 May.
“Each ration kit is enough to last a family of four for three to four weeks. The response to these initiatives has been extremely positive, especially through the #FeedTheHungry campaign where we have been able to offer support to families and individuals who have faced financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.”
Aster Volunteers is the global corporate social responsibility initiative launched by Aster DM Healthcare, in 2017 on the organisations’ 30th anniversary. It has a singular vision – to unite people from all walks of life in helping make the world a better place.
The initiative has impacted over 1 million people with over 27,401 volunteers in three years. Through the initiative, 290,986 individuals have been treated through mobile medical camps; 169,207 people have benefited from basic life support training, and 36,019 free surgeries, as well as health investigations, have been conducted. It has supported the recruitment of 114 differently-abled people and treated 533,146 people through 3,640 medical camps.
“We believe that this initiative will bridge the gap between people who would like to help those in need, and we welcome everyone to be an Aster Volunteer and make an impact on the lives of others,” said Dr. Moopen.
Supporting the community
Aster Volunteers has also launched a webinar series called ‘Break the Chain’ across its social media platforms, with the aim to address various topics related to COVID-19. The series is hosted by doctors at Aster where they address the most common concerns people have about the virus and share advice and insights on how to sustain oneself and families during this time. The Webinar series has reached to 450,384+ viewers so far.
The organisation has also channelised its WhatsApp platform along with NGO’s to create an outlet for people who have concerns and require counselling on the virus. Through this channel, a team of medical volunteers filter incoming messages and assist the person according to their query, and if needed they will be connected to a doctor via a conference call. On average the team has received and managed 15 to 20 calls each day.
Aster Volunteers also works closely with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) by providing the Aster Mobile Medical Service to transfer patients via Dubai Cooperation of Ambulance Services from Aster’s various units to isolation camps and vice versa. The initiative has also assisted in COVID screening camps at multiple densely populated areas in Dubai, organised in collaboration with the DHA and Aster Primary Care.
Dr. Azad Moopen
“Times are tough, and this pandemic has affected millions around the world. But what we have also seen during this tough time is how many people have come together to support each other even in the smallest way possible. I believe that even the smallest act of help can have a big impact on the lives of others, especially those who have been directly affected. We do not need to be part of charity organisations in order to help, we can create our own community and have the same impact. We must remember that while protecting and helping others it is crucial to make sure that we, as individuals, are protected and in good health ourselves,” he said.
Moreover, recently around 100 frontline medical professionals, volunteers, government entities and supporting organisations were honoured by Aster DM Healthcare and Consulate General of India for their relentless efforts over the last two months, which helped in the successful recovery of more than 1500 Covid-19 patients who were asymptomatic or mild to moderately ill.
“As a healthcare organisation, we have been at the forefront of managing this crisis with our facilities and staff being actively involved in working with the government to control the pandemic. Most of the medical staff and volunteers who have been actively involved in managing this facility had volunteered to be a part of this project, putting their own personal safety at risk and they continued to work relentlessly for long hours every day to be able to heal each of the patients who came to them, following all necessary measures to control the spread of COVID-19. We are proud of their tremendous achievement and commend the work that they have done,” said Dr Moopen.