HAVING crossed the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that brought such devastation to the world, the life-changing role of nurses and their care during the pandemic is still fresh in our minds. From working 48+ hour shifts with doctors to their meticulousness during the nationwide vaccine rollout, nurses are an integral part of a nation’s healthcare system. While most people reading this have access to healthcare services, entire communities of marginalized people in India struggle without medicines, doctors or medical attention of any sort. But across India, medical NGOs step in to give people access to essential medical services.

The on-ground presence of medical NGOs in these areas is the difference between life and death for millions of Indian families. Their services range from neonatal ICU care for babies to eye surgeries for senior citizens. Without these medical NGOs, people would suffer and even die from preventable conditions and diseases. 

International Nurses Day marks the life-changing contributions of nurses to individuals, families and societies worldwide. Held on the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing who organized care for wounded soldiers during wartime, International Nurses Day is an opportunity for us to help medical professionals reach vulnerable people who need them.  

Here are 5 medical NGOs to support this International Nurses Day:  

Mahan Trust

In the forests of Melghat in Maharashtra, Dr. Ashish saw entire communities of tribal populations with no access to a hospital or medical professionals. As a result of this, tribals suffer from preventable conditions and have no choice but to seek help for their health problems from traditional medicine men and healers, who often worsen their conditions. Dr. Ashish and his wife Dr. Kavita gave up their jobs and moved to Melghat in the late 1990s to set up a makeshift clinic in a small hut. 

That small hut has turned into a fully-functional hospital that has served millions of tribals who now have access to healthcare. The Mahatma Gandhi Tribal Hospital includes an operation theater, critical care unit and specialized care in Gynecology and Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Ophthalmology, ENT, Pathology and other areas. Because of Mahan Trust, there has been a reduction in deaths and better health conditions. To support Mahan Trust, you can donate here:

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In remote areas in Purulia in West Bengal, senior citizens suffer from a host of eye-related conditions that often lead to severe diseases and even blindness. The reason is that there are no doctors or hospitals in this area and as a result, the people suffer from poor eye health that continues to worsen without access to medical care. “These villages are so remote that not even one eye-care institution has ever reached here” shares Ranjana Sengupta of Nanritam.

Nanritam is one of the leading medical NGOs providing eye care to people in rural areas where marginalized people have long suffered from a lack of medical attention. The medical team from Nanritam conducts medical camps where people are examined, diagnosed and supported while receiving treatment and surgeries, especially for cataracts. The NGO is now on a mission to save 15,000 from blindness and help them live healthier lives. To support Nanritam, you can donate here:

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Neonates Foundation of India

One of the most vulnerable groups of people are newborn babies in need of medical support in the neonatal ICU. But to make matters worse, there are families from poor backgrounds who cannot afford neonatal ICU care for their infants who are suffering from medical complications and require urgent medical intervention. Neonates Foundation of India is one of the medical NGOs that serve the needs of babies fighting for their lives in the neonatal ICU.

Neonates Foundation of India helps poor families by covering the financial cost of neonatal ICU treatment, connecting families to a network of children’s hospitals that have specialized neonatal ICU facilities and providing counseling and emotional support to mothers as they endure this tumultuous time. The NGO aims to prevent the deaths of babies due to a lack of finances and help families access care. To support Neonates Foundation of India, you can donate here:

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Agni Raksha

Burn accidents claim the lives of countless people who have no means to access or afford medical care and surgical treatment. But for people – especially women – who are the victims of burning by their husbands, families or strangers, the pain is also emotional. Dr. Prema Dhanraj had an accident when she was just 8 years old and suffered severe burns. But rather than being cared for, she suffered terrible abuse and discrimination and so, she founded Agni Raksha to care for other burn victims.

Agni Raksha helps burn victims with its safe haven that shelters women in danger and provides emergency treatment, reconstructive surgeries, post-operative care and trauma counseling to hold the women’s hand as they recover. With Dr. Prema Dhanraj being awarded the Padma Shri for her compassionate work, Agni Raksha is one of the medical NGOs that uplifts burn victims and gives them all-rounded care to help them live full lives. To support Agni Raksha, you can donate here:

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Nargis Dutt Foundation

Cancer treatments are known to be expensive and ongoing, which means that cancer patients can often be in and out of the hospital for months or years and are required to spend up to ₹15,000 for one chemotherapy session; each patient may need up to 12 sessions. For millions of people across India, this is too much to afford on their meager salaries. So they remain at home, rely on regular medication and hope for the best, which is unfortunately not enough. 

Nargis Dutt Foundation has a heart of compassion for cancer patients and covers the financial cost of cancer treatments, procedures, counseling and additional support for the patient’s families. In providing financial assistance, patients can concentrate on getting treatment, recovering and beating cancer. For over 40 years, Nargis Dutt Foundation has helped thousands of cancer patients and is still offering care. To support Nargis Dutt Foundation, you can donate here:

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Support medical NGOs this International Nurses Day

For individuals, doctors, hospitals and entire nations, the role of nurses is paramount. International Nurses Day allows us to take time out to recognize and appreciate the contributions of nurses and also help medical NGOs deliver these crucial services to marginalized groups of people who are in desperate need of them. This International Nurses Day, our support to these trailblazing medical NGOs can save people from the brink of death and restore them to life. 


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