Recently, Adwitiya Mal and Mukul Pahwa launched Dhoondh – an online portal that matches critical COVID-19 patients with suitable plasma donors. Though their operations are currently limited to Delhi, they plan on expanding to other parts of India soon.
The initiative stemmed from Mal’s personal struggle to find suitable donors for his father-in-law earlier this month. Having gone through the extremely stressful ordeal, Mal was determined to streamline the process for others.
According to Live Mint, the duo collectively invested around Rs 2.27 lakh, and launched the website within four days.
“We needed to do it now not because we are in a competitive market but because it’s a problem that needs to be solved immediately,”
In a recent interview with HuffPost India, Adwitya Mal spoke about Dhoondh’s volunteer-based work model and the technicalities involved. On registering, the patients’ details and requirements are used to identify potential donors from the database. Thereafter, volunteers individually contact both the parties and verify their details, before connecting them.
Is plasma therapy effective? Who can be a plasma donor?
Although it’s currently considered an experimental treatment, convalescent plasma therapy is being selectively used to treat moderate to critical COVID-19 patients. The plasma of recently recovered patients contains antibodies, which when transfused into sick patients, may help fight the virus. Earlier, this form of immunity-boosting treatment had been employed to tackle outbreaks of H1N1 and SARS-CoV-1.
There are some set criteria that one needs to meet in order to become an eligible plasma donor.
In addition to this, Dhoondh has also been sharing some useful infographics regarding the donation process and posts regular updates on the tally of patients and donors.
Within its first week, Dhoondh gained significant traction, and social media is abuzz with people sharing and lauding its timely efforts.
In the same line, NDTV launched their #SaveALife campaign on Twitter. The media company is actively encouraging former patients to donate and help save lives.
Donate Plasma, #SaveALife – NDTV’s special campaign.
— NDTV (@ndtv) June 27, 2020
As COVID-19 cases skyrocket across the country, patients’ families have been struggling to find plasma donors. Hopefully, with some government assistance, platforms like Dhoondh will enable more efficient coordination among donors and their medical beneficiaries.
Featured Image Source