AAPI to help provide clean drinking water in rural India


Indian American physicians body joins hands with Community Pure Water Foundation.

The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) has formed a strategic partnership with Community Pure Water Foundation (CPW)  to provide clean drinking water to millions of people in rural India.

To formalize the alliance, the two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under the leadership of Dr. Jagan Ailinani, past President of AAPI, who had initiated the project, according to an AAPI release.

AAPI and CPW will collaborate creatively to address health challenges in India, focusing primarily on providing clean drinking water services, and related programs such as water for hand washing and sanitation, said AAPI President Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda.

“The overall objective is to improve health of rural Indian communities that are impacted by waterborne diseases, by partnering to provision water purification plants in affected regions and thus to stem the spread of waterborne diseases,” said Ailinani.

The partners have come together with the shared goal of empowering India in the area of clean water, Dr. Anupama Yeluru Gotimukula, President-Elect, AAPI, said.

AAPI will work to leverage membership, networks and resources in the United States and India to provide and facilitate funding, skills transfer, and knowledge building to support agreed upon activities, and consider additional projects to extend availability and affordability of Clean Drinking Water to rural communities in various states in India, he said.

AAPI intends to work in four key areas: identifying sponsors; collaborating with various prestigious professional groups including medical societies, academic institutions, hospital systems and NGOs (both in the US and India); leveraging the annual Global Healthcare Summit  to educate and promote the key area related to this MOU; and engaging the AAPI supported 14 free (charitable) clinics in India  to disseminate awareness on the health benefit of using safe clean water.

READ: AAPI to observe January 7 as Global Wear Yellow Day (December 23, 2020)

Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Treasurer of AAPI, said, AAPI member tax-deductible sponsorship of $7,000 per village of 500 households covers capital costs of water treatment plants totaling $5,000 as well as operating and annual maintenance cost for two years amounting to $2,000. One-time setup expenses cover the installation and commissioning of a 500 LPH (liters per hour) five-stage water purification center.

These include community awareness, operator training and skilling of technical staff. Water purchases fully fund operation and maintenance costs after about two years.  Each center can provide pure water year after year with no further donor funding after a year two.

Dr. Amit Chakrabarty, Secretary of AAPI, pointed out that India lacks adequate number of qualified Oncology specialists who would like to partner with AAPI to provide medical, surgical and radiation oncologists to deliver quality cancer care.

These specialists will spend from one to three months in Tata Cancer Centers in India. They will also provide Tele-medicine consultations.

The model envisions an integrated well-connected network of existing and additional centers staffed by local and AAPI volunteer specialists from USA working partly in India and partly via tele-medicine from US to deliver high quality cancer care across the country to the villages.

“This collaboration can also help with prevention, early detection as well as other health related areas like sanitation and safe drinking water,” said Dr. Suresh Reddy, past President of AAPI, who had signed MOU with Tata Trust during the GHS in Hyderabad in 2019.

Several decades ago, Dr. Ailinani adopted his native village of Mothe and fully funded and established safe drinking water, trash disposal facilities.

He also built a funeral shelter with showers and toilets at the cremation site and a primary health center besides organizing training camps for farmers and constructing a road from his village to Jagtia in 1995 under Janma Bhoomi project.

He also established a partnership with the regional medical college, PIMS, to provide needed physicians to provide primary care with a focus on prenatal care twice a week.

In 2006, Dr. Ailinani established the AAPI Preventive Health Clinic in Jagtial with a mission to deliver quality health services to the rural population of Northern Telegana. He also got an affiliation with Southern Illinois School of Medicine (SIU), USA with student and faculty exchange.

He raised $250,000 from US alumni for the establishment of a state of the art Digital library at his alma mater, Osmania Medical College, Hyderabdad, AAPI release said.

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