TANKER FOUNDATION: Providing Free/Low-Cost Dialysis to Disadvantaged Patients

By auther pic. Smita Singh

June 24, 2021

TANKER FOUNDATION: Providing Free/Low-Cost Dialysis to Disadvantaged Patients

Tanker Foundation


Nearly 12 per cent of India’s population is estimated to be affected by some sort of undetected renal disorder, many of which cause complete kidney failures. Around 2.5 lakh persons die annually attributing to kidney failures, making it the third-largest killer disease after malignancy and heart problems. Only 9 per cent of the patients can afford the treatment or obtain kidney transplant suffering from kidney-related disorders, which happens to be the only permanent cure. As much of India’s population belong to the deprived socio-economic sections, people are incapable to undergo dialysis, which costs around Rs. 1,500-3000 per session at private centres.



The Tamilnad Kidney Research Foundation (TANKER) is a non-profit organization, founded in 1993. TANKER was inaugurated with a special aim of providing financial support to disadvantaged patients for dialysis, transplantation, investigation, cost of medication. TANKER Foundation like several other Non-profit organizations had a small beginning and primarily monetary support was provided to only patients from a poor background. TANKER was founded by Dr Georgi Abraham (Founder Trustee) & Latha A Kumaraswami (Managing Trustee) along with a group of individuals who had a similar vision. Gradually as contributions started coming in, TANKER started its subsidized dialysis facilities across Tamil Nadu.



The TANKER Foundation starting from June 1993 till March 2021 has provided 398,325 free of cost and low-cost dialysis for 1875 patients. The Foundation has also given monetary donations worth Rs. 5.53 crores to 3587 patients as one-time contributions starting from Rs. 5,000/- to Rs. 50,000/- for transplants, medicine expenses, research purposes, and fistula operation expenses. As of now, there are Eleven dialysis units (5 of which are completely free) with a total of 157 Dialysis stations all located across the state of Tamil Nadu along with a newly opened dialysis centre at MGM Hospital, Pondicherry. The 5 centres at Greater Chennai Corporation offers completely free Dialysis to the Patients. The other dialysis centre charges only Rs.50 registration fees for patients benefitted under Sponsored a Dialysis Schemes and to the remaining, it is just as low as Rs. 375, the rest of the expenses is supported by the TANKER Foundation, thus, making dialysis affordable for those patients who otherwise cannot afford it. Furthermore, the foundation offers approximate 6226 dialyses per month, of which 5861 are completely free of cost which is made possible with precious grants from the Chief Minister's Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS), Greater Chennai Corporation and other gracious donors. The TANKER Foundation helps around 647 patients in their units daily.

In November 2009, TANKER Foundation started an HIV Dialysis Unit providing dialysis to needy HIV positive patients. Such a brilliant initiative was the first of its kind in India. Following this, the foundation also opened an HIV facility with 3 machines in Parumala, Kerala. Apart from that the foundation also provides support to Kerala Kidney Research Foundation (KKRF), which provides free and low-cost dialysis at and around Kerala, The TANKER Foundation has recently donated 4 machines worth Rs. 24 Lakhs to KKRF. In February 2016, TANKER helped Catholic Mission Centre Hospital, Imphal, Manipur with 4
machines and equipment worth Rs. 33 Lakhs. The foundation alongside The Madras


Medical Mission has also donated a machine to the Dar es salaam General Hospital
in Tanzania. The Foundation has also spread awareness about kidney disorders with the help of 1279 awareness programmes spread across schools, colleges, law enforcement offices and public forums as a result they have been able to reach out to approximate 1.89 lakh people. Moreover, the Foundation has conducted check-ups of about 35,793 individuals to detect renal disorders through their 423 screening camps. TANKER Foundation, Kerala Kidney Research Foundation and St. Behanan's Orthodox Church inaugurated an awareness and screening centre in St. Behanan's Orthodox Church at Vennikulam, Kerala on 03rd March 2021 to help the disadvantaged with kidney problems. The foundation is also known for providing awards for research in Nephrology and service with a sum of Rs 8 lakhs per annum.


The TANKER Foundation continued to provide such service even during the Covid-19 lockdown. The staffs and Doctors of the foundation risked their own lives to make sure every patient who received dialysis is taken care of. The Foundation had to pay an enormous price to make sure that the service was provided despite all the hardships as providing dialysis is a procedure that saves the lives of millions of people. Some of the major challenges faced were that many of the staff and patients tested positive and therefore the others had to manage with much less staff. a number of the staff were asked to vacate their rented homes as they were healthcare workers challenging with coronavirus with a high risk of contracting the virus. Some of the staff managed and stayed within the dialysis centres whereas few others took shelter in temporary settings near the centres so that they can commute to the centres. Due to complete lockdown - all expenditures were covered by the trust to make sure patients do not suffer. The Foundation took of all safety guidelines as they
Purchased PPE kits, fumigation machines, etc so that safety is ensured. Approximately 60 lakh Rs was spent from April 2020 to Dec 2020 because of the pandemic. The TANKER Foundation is extremely grateful to all the staff members, doctors, and donors for their unprecedented help during such tough times.



Also Read: NSRCEL: Creating social impact through its Social Ventures Incubation Program


Smita currently finished her masters from Economics Major. Being an introvert personality, writing suits best to her. She has vivid experience in the content area from writing research papers to writing content for various websites, blogs & stories. Smita has worked for a Patna based digital marketing company named DigiwaleBabu.


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