21 Oct Crisis averted in Nepal health – for now.
“We are working using the PPE now. There was fear of COVID-19 before but now there is less fear.”
– Kriti Dhan Rai, Gudel Health Post.
In June 2021, Nepal’s COVID cases surged to 9,000 cases per day, putting the health system into crisis. Health posts in rural Nepal are often very basic, and rely on Female Community Health Volunteers as well as staff. AHF’s COVID response project was an urgent appeal to give health care workers more equipment to deal with the pandemic.
It has helped, for now, but will it be enough?
When the crisis hit…
Preparations had already been made for the pandemic to hit the Solukhumbu. COVID information was being provided to the community through radio & television. Our partner, Action For Nepal, set up free telehealth consultation for COVID patients. There was also regular telephone supervision for people in home isolation.
But health care workers needed urgent help in the centres. Volunteers and staff needed protection, and also equipment to test and treat patients.
So AHF reached out with an urgent plea to you, our supporters – help us raise funds. And people began donating, while AF Nepal sourced and distributed vital equipment. From masks to oxygenators, all the basic supplies needed to prevent COVID, and treat patients.
Your response was immediate
Thanks to the incredible wave of donations, and together with AF Nepal, we were able to support the health care workers.
We sent masks, gloves, gowns and face shields to protect them. And with the equipment provided they were able to test for COVID in the community, and help patients fight the virus.
AF Nepal sent supplies to five health centres in the Solukhumbu, plus the primary hospital at Mahakulung. Some of the equipment provided such as the oxygen concentrators will last for years to come.
This COVID response aimed to slow the spread of the virus in remote areas. Your help provided vital protection to the health centre staff during a time of urgent need. Health care staff and volunteers have told us how grateful they were to be able to continue their work with patients safely.
“The materials provided have helped us a lot to work in this pandemic. We feel safe while providing services to the people because of the regular supply of PPE materials”
– Binita Rai, Khiraule Basic Health Centre
What happens now?
Shree Dhoj Rai, Health Coordinator of Sotang Rural Municipality was able to sum up the effect of the COVID response project in his area. His words highlight how critical timely support is from people like you:
“We have established an isolation center. We have been doing tests for early detection, and providing services to COVID patients. We have also provided protective materials to the [volunteers] and in the community.
“For now, everything is good.”
While the COVID crisis has ebbed in Nepal for now, the virus continues to spread. Currently Nepal has an average of 600 new cases per day. With only 22% of the population vaccinated, health workers in the Solukhumbu fear a third wave.
AHF, our family of supporters, and our partners AF Nepal stand ready to help in any way we can.
World COVID statistics https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries
Nepal Government COVID status dashboard https://covid19.mohp.gov.np/#/
Our World in Data COVID vaccination status by country https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations?country=OWID_WRL
AHF Annual Report 2020-21 available on request from 1 December.