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CHAI’s Response to COVID-19

The battle against COVID-19 will be long and hard. With the number of positive cases and resulting deaths rising in India every day, more and more people are in need of support and care. While lockdowns and social distancing measures can flatten the curve of the pandemic, providing social, economic and emotional support to people is essential. In addition, building resilience of the healthcare system to manage the influx of patients is critical.

CHAI is employing a multi-pronged approach and is working with member institutions within its network, other healthcare networks, civil society organisations, and national and state governments. Please find below a snapshot of our initiatives.

Preparedness of member institutions

CHAI’s network of over 3,500 member institutions – one of the largest non-governmental healthcare networks in India – includes more than 500 hospitals and 50,000 beds across the country. CHAI is helping its institutions prepare for this unprecedented health crisis through the following activities:

  • Organising webinars within the network on ‘How to prepare your hospital for COVID-19’
  • Sharing protocols for managing healthcare services during the pandemic for smaller hospitals to adapt and implement

More than 120 member institutions attended the first two webinars. CHAI will organise more webinars, with latest updates, in the next few days.

All COVID-19-related resources are available on CHAI’s website at to ensure easy access for member institutions.

Sourcing equipment, supplies, and funds for hospitals

Like other countries, India is currently facing a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), consumables, drugs and equipment. To address this situation, CHAI is conducting an extensive survey to estimate the capacity of hospitals within its network to provide care to patients, and the materials that they will require over the coming months.

In addition, member institutions are anticipating a significant drop in hospitals’ income due to suspension of their outpatient services and elective procedures. Simultaneously, the hospitals need to expend resources towards COVID-19 preparedness. This will require a certain amount of financial support for the hospitals to continue to function and care for patients.

Once CHAI collates the estimates, it will reach out to its network of vendors and partners to help member institutions in procuring the required drugs, consumables, equipment, and funds.

Online help desk to provide emotional support to the community

A consortium of various organisations, including CHAI, launched a digital platform as a helpline for all COVID-19-related issues. The multi-lingual platform has been actively running for more than a month and currently offers counselling services to anyone with emotional distress or anxiety.

The partners in this initiative include The Project Vision, CHAI, the Sister Doctors Forum of India, TROVA, Vidal Health, Rajagiri Hospital, the Camillian Disaster Services, and CMAI. Billion Lives, a social impact technology company, is providing technical support for the website.

Socio-economic support to the community

On 25 March 2020, like many other countries, India also went into a 21-day lockdown, with only essential services being allowed to function. Due to this, there may be significant socio-economic distress for a large proportion of the population, especially the migrant labourers.

CHAI is planning an initiative through its member institutions to deliver relief kits to families affected in this manner. Specifically, CHAI is planning to distribute relief kits of INR 1000 per family for a period of two weeks.

Together, we pray and hope that we emerge from this catastrophic pandemic with minimal suffering and distress.

If you have any inputs or feel you can support any of these activities, do reach out at