Founded on 30'th June 1993, The Tamilnad Kidney Research Foundation was set up primarily to provide financial assistance to underprivileged patients for dialysis, transplantation, investigation and medication costs. The Foundation also aims to encourage organ donation at time of death. TANKER was started by Dr. Georgi Abraham along with a group of like-minded individuals. From helping needy patients financially to spreading awareness, providing subsidized and free dialysis to screening camps, TANKER has taken every effort to live up to its vision.
TANKER Foundation had small beginnings with financial support offered for a small group of needy patients. Gradually contributions started coming in and TANKER was able to start subsidized dialysis facilities.
The first Subsidized Units were at Tamilnad Hospitals (Root of the Foundation's name Tamilnad Kidney Research) and Sri Ramachandra Medical College & Research Institute. In 1999, Rekha Memorial TANKER Foundation Subsidized Dialysis Unit began at premises given by Mr. K.V. George. The Renny Abraham TANKER Foundation Ambattur Rotary Subsidized Dialysis Unit was started in 2006, in a space given rent free by Ambattur Rotary Charitable Hospital. In October 2006, TANKER, with the help of our goodwill Ambassador, Mr. R.S. Suriya started the TANKER Foundation Madurai Subsidized Dialysis Unit. On January 1st, 2007, The Madras West Round Table 10, The Madras Ladies Circle 2 and TANKER's Goodwill Ambassador Mr. R.S.Suriya launched the Dialysis A Day (DAD) project.In October 2014 The Rekha Memorial Renny Abraham Ambattur Rotary TANKER Foundation Subsidized dialysis was inaugurated by Actor Suriya .This unit with 23 dialysis machines was made possible with the generosity and support of Ambattur Rotary Club,Ambattur Rotary Hospital,Ambattur Industrial Estate Manufacturers Association(AIEMA),Cognizant Foundation and other valuable donors.All this was done in tandem with subsidized fistula surgeries, research awards, awareness and outreach programmes and screenings.
As of 1st May 2015 TANKER has provided 159,111 free and subsidized dialysis for 858 patients. We have also given financial support of Rs. 106 Lakhs to 2196 patients as one-time contributions ranging from Rs. 5,000/- to Rs. 50,000/- for transplantation, medication, investigation and fistula surgery costs.
Our four subsidized dialysis units have a total of 42 Dialysis Stations. Our four units are in Ambattur Rotary Hospital (Chennai), TVS Hospital, Chokkikulam (Madurai), RVS Hospital, Sulur, Coimbatore and in Corporation P.H.C, Nungambakkam, Chennai. We do 1,932 dialyses per month, of which 1,601 are free of cost with valuable help from the Chief Ministers Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme (CMCHIS) and other donors. At present, we help 222 patients in our units. We also have a dialysis facility at PIMS, Pondicherry and our current plan is to set up a unit in Imphal (Manipur). In November 2009, we started our HIV Dialysis Unit providing dialysis to underprivileged HIV patients. This is the first of its kind in India. We also have a sister organization, Kerala Kidney Research Foundation, which provides free and subsidized dialysis at Thiruvella Medical Mission, SH Hospital, Kottayam and PVS Hospital, Kochi(Kerala).
Along with helping our patients, spreading the word about kidney disease is equally important to TANKER. We have reached out to more than 1.1 lakh people with the 669 Awareness Programmes we conducted at schools, colleges, law enforcement offices and public forums. We have also screened 11,000 individuals for early detection of kidney disease through our 121 screening camps. As the field of research in kidney diseases requires more attention and guidance in India, TANKER also gives awards for research in Nephrology and Service to the tune of Rs. 5 lakhs every year.