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Indian express with and Love Heals Cancer

Apr 24, 2020
 Indian express with and Love Heals Cancer
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India - In India, a nation with over 130,000 dialysis patients, the coronavirus crisis has precipitated a healthcare emergency. A 2019 study in the Indian Journal of Public Health revealed an alarming increase in the number of dialysis patients, a number that continues to grow. However, the pandemic has led to the shutdown of many dialysis centers and imposed severe travel restrictions, posing life-threatening challenges for these patients.

Dialysis in the Time of COVID-19
Dialysis, essential for patients with renal disease, has become a high-risk procedure during the pandemic. Sanitization of equipment is critical to prevent virus transmission, especially since many patients are asymptomatic. Patients with renal disease, already vulnerable due to compromised immunity, are at heightened risk of infection.

Operational Challenges and Resource Shortages
Many hospitals, now COVID-19 centers, have reduced or ceased dialysis services. Dr. Rushi Deshpande of Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai, notes that most units have cut down sessions to twice a week to reduce operational strain. The shortage of technicians, unable to commute due to lockdowns, exacerbates the situation. Additionally, fear of infection makes many centers reluctant to accept new patients.

The Added Burden on Cancer Patients
The pandemic has also significantly impacted cancer care. Treatments are delayed as hospitals prioritize COVID-19 cases, leaving many cancer patients anxious and uncertain. Dimple, co-founder of Love Heals Cancer, reports a surge in queries from concerned patients. The unavailability of regular chemotherapy and the risks associated with hospital visits have compelled many to opt for at-home oral chemotherapy.

Support Systems and Teleconsultation Services
Support groups like The Kidney Warriors and Yoddhas- Indians Fighting Against Cancer are crucial in these challenging times, offering guidance and emotional support. Teleconsultation services have become a lifeline, with doctors ensuring continuous communication with their patients.

A Collective Effort Amidst Crisis
Healthcare professionals, support groups, and the government are collaboratively striving to mitigate these challenges. While dialysis patients grapple with the risks and logistics of treatment, cancer patients face delays and adaptations in their therapy protocols. This situation underscores the need for resilient healthcare systems capable of responding effectively to such unprecedented crises.

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