The plasma work of Parivartan commenced with the aim to ease the stress and efforts of patients’ relatives in the dire situation of the pandemic. We were watching people run from pillar to post to procure plasma for their loved ones, which was already in short supply. The trigger that set us in motion was when one of our friends suffered in this battle and then we decided to take up this initiative. When we started, none of us knew anything about plasma, plasma therapy, its efficacy; but we did not want people to undergo the torment of securing plasma when the doctors were suggesting this course of treatment. The beginning was stressful and rough; plasma requirements were shooting up, there were not enough donors since the second wave had just begun, there was no awareness regarding donation. Gradually, more members joined in and the work picked up. At the peak, our team comprised of 7 members, all from different fields of work. They were assigned various tasks viz., calling the Parivartan-registered donors and guiding them throughout the donation process, verifying if the plasma requirements were met on time, coordinating with blood banks to ensure the donation procedure is effortless/smooth for the donors, collaborating with other groups to widen the blood bank network across the city. With time, we also learnt more about plasma that helped us raise awareness among people and increase our donor count. It was when one of our own volunteers needed plasma for her relative and we were able to arrange it at the earliest, that the importance of such timely and crucial aid was highlighted.
Although the plasma work has come to a halt with ICMR dropping plasma therapy from Covid-19 clinical protocol, it has been challenging and enriching teamwork. We supported and learnt from each other, we had each other’s back in time of emergencies. And more importantly, we learnt that it is vital to have such local networks to assist in the delivery of health and social services, which our team would like to continue.