As America faces the dawning of a new beginning with the entry of a new president, the whole country is holding its breath in anticipation of necessary changes related to COVID-19 responses. CHIRAJ, a global nonprofit founded by Dr. Rajeev Fernando, is one with the majority of the country that supports the health initiatives under the new administration. At the helm of promoting preventive measures to help stop the spread of the virus is Dr. Fernando, the creator of the Mask Up Earth campaign.
Special Recognition for 2020: Frontline Healthcare Workers: Dr. Rajeev Fernando is a physician specializing in Infectious Diseases and the Founder/CEO at Chiraj. As he treated COVID-19 patients over the last year, he also found the time to self-fund, design, manufacture, and ship masks to at-risk populations in the US and 22 other countries. Learn more: chiraj.com.
The Mask Up Earth campaign was made possible through the efforts of CHIRAJ, and it intends to promote the importance of using masks to protect people from the deadly COVID-19. The Mask Up Earth campaign donates masks to the most vulnerable populations around the world. Dr. Fernando was one of the first Americans to go to Wuhan, China, in January 2020 to help investigate the nature of the virus when there were only 50 confirmed cases around the world. As an infectious disease specialist for the past 10 years, Dr. Fernando is very passionate about studying the nature of diseases, hoping to discover a potential cure or the means to stop the disease from spreading. He also was one of the few physicians who investigated the Ebola and Zika viruses when he worked with Doctors without Borders. As a result, he was later tagged as the virus hunter. Dr. Fernando is an expert in the field and has been fighting countless hours on the front lines.
If there is one significant observation that Dr. Fernando acquired while in Wuhan, it is the effectiveness of face masks in protecting people and preventing the spread of the virus. His observation was eventually backed up by several studies showing that the use of masks decreases the spread of the virus.
In the absence of a cure and a vaccine at that time, Dr. Fernando launched the Mask Up Earth campaign and used his creativity in designing high-quality, reusable, and multiple layer masks that CHIRAJ distributes for free to people of color, indigenous groups, patients in nursing homes, and essential workers who are exposed on a day-to-day basis.
People who need a mask can simply visit the Mask Up Earth campaign site and order a free mask designed by Dr. Fernando. As part of his commitment to help prevent the further spread of the virus, Dr. Fernando even pays for the shipping cost. To date, CHIRAJ has successfully distributed 27,000 masks in 29 countries. CHIRAJ’s Mask Up Earth team includes Dr. Fernando, Amy Murro, Sriram Daita, and Chiraag Kapoor. Dr. Fernando was recently selected from hundreds of nominations around the world for the Compassionate Leaders Circle Award for Healthcare workers. Dr. Fernando’s compassionate leadership, dedication, and generosity have positively impacted countless lives.
With Dr. Fernando’s significant contributions, he was part of a list of noble heart-centered leaders who were recognized on January 15th at the inaugural annual Compassionate Leaders Awards Ceremony. The list is published on Forbes. Dr. Fernando was recognized under the Special Recognition for 2020 category.
Aside from being a thriving infectious disease specialist, Dr. Fernando is also a fashion designer and proceeds from his creations are being used to help prevent COVID-19 from afflicting more people. Moreover, he was voted as one of New York’s best infectious diseases doctors for the past seven years.
Dr. Rajeev Fernando calls on the nation to support this new era in the nation, moreover, the country’s great scientists who are all working very hard to save Americans and minimize the number of deaths caused by COVID-19.