Huma Qureshi to set up pediatric ward in Delhi ahead of possible third wave of COVID-19

Mumbai: In preparation for a possible third wave of COVID-19, with predictions of children being impacted to a greater degree, Bollywood actor Huma Qureshi, along with Save the Children, will be setting up a 30-bed pediatric ward in New Delhi.

Following the first two waves where there has been an increase in infections amongst the younger population, child-specific needs are the focus of this new initiative called ‘Breath of Life’.

While preparing the new ward, special care is being taken to make it child-friendly, as that helps in healing. The walls are being painted in ways to make them pleasant and friendly for children.

On 29 June, Huma and the Save the Children staff visited the Tilak Nagar Colony Hospital, New Delhi to take stock of the progress of the initiative, where she also made an effort to join the ongoing painting work.

Talking about the new initiative, Huma said, “At Tilak Nagar Colony Hospital in Delhi I witnessed first-hand how hard work and earnest intentions do bear fruit. My ‘Breath of Life’ mission with Save the Children has received massive support and empowered us to set up a 100-bed COVID Facility in the city I proudly call my home. A big thank you to everyone who contributed and stood up for the people in their hour of need.”

She further spoke about the speculated third COVID wave and continued, “But the battle is not yet over, with speculation rife about an anticipated third wave and its potential impact on our children, we need to be prepared. I am not waiting for the situation to get worse like the second wave. Together with Save the Children we are prepping already to add a 30- bed paediatric ward to this facility, dedicated for Delhi’s children.”

“And keeping children in mind, we want to create a ward that is child-friendly colours, wall painted with animals. And today, I joined the team in painting the wall. It was overwhelming to see it all come alive. And most of all, to experience the child in me,” Huma concluded.

The 34-year-old actor also met the Commissioner Gynaesh Bharti and Additional Commissioner Randhir Sahay of South Delhi municipal corporation (SDMC), during which a team of doctors was also present with her. The SDMC commissioner thanked Huma Qureshi and Save the Children for the ‘Breath of life’ initiative.

Expressing gratitude, Gynaesh Bharti, Commissioner, SDMC said, “SDMC was facing challenges during the second wave of COVID-19 due to shortage of supply of medical oxygen in this facility — when the support from the Breath of Life initiative helped in providing 100 beds into oxygen support.”

He added, “We highly appreciated this support and going ahead with the support of this project we are looking now to set up a 30-bedded paediatric ward in this facility with paediatric ICU and neonatal ICU. This collaboration has also created an enthusiastic environment for the doctors, and they are looking forward for completion of this set up.”

Sudarshan, CEO of Save the Children said, “We understand that children have specific needs and one such need is to prepare for the probable third wave and have robust facilities to ensure children’s care if they are hospitalised. This is a great initiative prioritised by the government and with Huma’s fantastic efforts that will pave the way for many more, including the effort to set up Neo-natal ICU and children’s ICU facilities during the pandemic in Delhi and with Save the Children’s effort across the country.”

Huma and Save the Children’s mission ‘Breath of Life’ has received massive support to set up a 100-bed COVID facility in the city. Save the Children is setting a 12 beds ICU in Satara but much more needs to be done.

Many Bollywood celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma, Amitabh Bachchan, Sonu Sood, Varun Dhawan, Akshay Kumar, and others have come forward to contribute in order to help aid people crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.