YouTube star and Auckland doctor goes viral and picks up GP College award

9 August 2021

Dr Sandhya Ramanathan, an Auckland-based general practitioner, has been awarded a Community Service Medal by The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

The Community Service Medal recognises members of the College who have made an outstanding contribution to general practice through work in their communities.

In 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting people worldwide, Dr Ramanathan became aware of rising levels of anxiety and a lack of easy-to-understand, credible information locally, and abroad. Using plain English and easy-to-understand medical information, she took matters into her own hands and in a single take on a Sunday night in June, filmed her 18-minute YouTube video ‘Home Medical Management Plan for Mild COVID-19’.

The video, initially intended for her family and friends in India, has since had over 500,000 views on YouTube and empowered millions of people all over the world to understand how to manage COVID-19 when they were facing limited access to testing and hospital care. 

Dr Samantha Murton, College President says, “Dr Ramanathan’s compassion and drive to help those affected by COVID-19 is amazing to see. 

“While I’m sure she wasn’t expecting to go viral, the sheer number of people she has helped worldwide is incredible. 

“We are so fortunate to have her as a GP in New Zealand.”

In the video she outlines her well-researched three-step home management plan to help people prevent mild COVID-19 from becoming severe – including boosting the immune system, reducing the viral load, and breathing exercises. Dr Ramanathan also demonstrates the importance of pulse oximetry (measuring the oxygen level of the blood).

These techniques and tips have helped to reduce the pressure on stressed medical resources globally.

Comments about her video include, “This is the most sensible and comprehensive compilation of Covid treatment.”, “It is a gift to have these remedies, it’s very empowering that we don’t need to feel helpless.” And “So well explained in a manner that even a layman will understand. One of the most useful videos I’ve come across...”

To date, Dr Ramanathan’s video has been translated into 14 different languages and has rewarded her with widespread recognition and acclaim. 

Dr Ramanathan is continuing to make YouTube videos, providing medically researched tips to help people navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can watch ‘Home Medical Management Plan for Mild COVID-19’.