The COVID-19 pandemic has been touted as one of the worst humanitarian crisis the world has ever seen. In India — with a population of close to 1.3 billion — the pandemic has been straining the healthcare infrastructure.
There has been a severe shortage of hospital beds, oxygen cylinders, and life-saving medicines — some of which are very expensive for a majority of the country’s population to afford.
For this reason, Mumbai residents Dr Marcus Ranney and Dr Raina Ranney have started MedsForMore to collect medicines from those who have recovered from COVID-19 and have in excess to distribute among the poor who cannot buy these life-saving drugs.
Started in May 2021, MedsForMore has a core team of eight volunteers who have collected over 125 kgs of medicine to date.
“In the first wave of the pandemic, I was working and assisting as a BMC doctor and as a medical volunteer in the slums. But in this wave, the severity is a lot, and the caseloads are much higher. I am also doing more consultations over the phone,” says Marcus.
Marcus and Raina discussed and realised that a whole population might be struggling to find expensive medicines required for treating COVID-19.
Marcus reached out to some of the other residents in his apartment complex and asked them to share any excess medicines with him so he could share them with the underprivileged, starting with his house help’s son.
“When it comes to medicines, that’s how the blister packs are designed; there is always some leftover. This provided reasons to reduce wastage due to scarcity of resources, and increase the impact by giving these medicines to those who are underprivileged,” explains Marcus.
This was the start of what people referred to as a “Robin Hood army,” now called MedsForMore.
The two doctors, along with a team of six other members, manage social media accounts and other functions based on their specialities.
“The power of WhatsApp helps us reach out to people and share our requirements. Principally, these need to be unused and unexpired for us to distribute them,” Marcus says, adding, “Even though people are buying the medicines, and we are grateful for that, our purpose is to use those leftover medicines in this distribution.”
In Mumbai, each building and apartment complex has a representative, and a box for the medicines is kept near the security desk. This box is sent to one of the five main collection centres in different parts of the city.
Of the medicines collected, only a small percentage are found to be expired. With the guidance of a doctor, the unused and unexpired medicines are then segregated into steroids, antibiotics, fever medications, etc.
Tribute by Team YourStory
If you’d like to share your tribute for a loved one you lost to COVID-19, or salute the efforts of healthcare workers and those on the frontlines, please fill up this form. We will try our best to include every tribute but request your patience and understanding if we’re unable to do this for all. Please be assured that your tributes will be regarded with the utmost respect that is due.SHARE YOUR TRIBUTE