Hindustan Unilever Limited is airlifting over 4000 oxygen concentrators into India to address the acute shortage of medical oxygen. HUL is partnering with KVN Foundation and Portea, India’s largest home healthcare company to make the O2 concentrators available to needy patients promptly and efficiently. India is facing a severe shortage of O2 concentrators as the healthcare system continues to grapple with the deadly second wave of COVID-19. Titled ‘Mission HO2PE’, the 4000 concentrators will be sent to worst affected cities like Delhi, Lucknow, Bangalore, etc. Portea will have access to 3000 concentrators, which will be provided free of charge to patients. The remaining will be donated by HUL to hospitals in nearly 20 locations across India.
HUL’s partnership with KVN Foundation and Portea will provide access to oxygen for COVID-19 patients directly in their homes, thereby reducing the pressure on our healthcare infrastructure which is already under duress. Patients can avail of this service by calling the ‘Mission HO2PE’ helpline number and request for oxygen concentrators.
Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director, HUL said, “The second wave of COVID has brought upon us a severe humanitarian crisis. The entire Unilever family is rallying together to support India in this moment of crisis by helping secure oxygen concentrators which are in severe short supply. We are hopeful that our partnership with Portea will help save the lives of people who are in dire need of medical oxygen as well as reduce the burden on medical infrastructure.
Adding further, Meena Ganesh, Co-Founder and CEO, Portea Medical said, “Having treated over 4 lakh COVID patients over the last year, we understand the challenges posed by this pandemic. The second wave is unprecedented and has shown that there is an urgent need to treat patients with oxygen therapy and keep them out of the overflowing hospitals. In this regard, we are proud to partner with HUL in this noble initiative and ensure access to medical oxygen for patients in their homes.”
“KVN Foundation expresses its gratitude to HUL for supporting this cause in these challenging times for the nation. The Foundation looks forward to associating with both HUL and Portea to bring relief to the beneficiaries," said Venkat K Narayana, Managing Trustee, KVN Foundation.
Besides this partnership, the Company is facilitating as well as covering the cost for vaccination of its outer core of around 300,000 people including those who work for suppliers, distributors as well as Shakti Ammas in rural areas. HUL has also set up isolation facilities across it 30+ manufacturing units – most of them located in rural parts of India. Apart from O2 concentrators, HUL will also be providing ventilators and other medical equipment for hospitals, including in rural areas.
Last year, HUL had committed Rs 100 crores to support the communities impacted by the pandemic. The Company supported more than 100,000 migrant labour families with food kits for 15 days. HUL provided more than 20 million soaps and sanitizers to communities across India. HUL partnered with UNDP to donate hygiene and sanitisation products to support frontline sanitation workers in 25 cities. The Company also collaborated with UNICEF to create a large-scale awareness campaign about protective measures that reached over 600 million people and drove home the message of social distancing and hygiene, which is critical to fight this virus.