COVID-19 in Nepal
SARS-CoV-2, which causes the newly described coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has affected millions of people worldwide, including Nepal.
During the second wave, hospitals were overcrowded with increasing cases of infections, and most hospitals were reeling under a shortage of oxygen and ventilators. As a result, many hospitals stopped admitting new patients.
Because of poor road connectivity in most mountainous regions of Nepal, the only way to ferry Covid-19 patients to better health facilities in cities with available beds was by chartering helicopters. However, rescuing patients was a mammoth task requiring specialized skills and resources.
Daily wage earners made several days’ journey on foot to their homes as they lost work due to prolonged prohibitory orders, which included restriction of people and vehicular movement to break the chain of transmission. As a result, many children suffered from multiple deprivations, including a lack of access to nutritious food and education.
The below visuals display data on COVID-19 cases in Nepal.
Siddhasthali Hospital and Mountain Heart Nepal Response
Oxygen Concentrators from Direct Relief
The donation came at an extremely opportune time, as the transmission of the virus had continued to increase.
To date, Direct Relief has provided 200 oxygen concentrators amidst many other types of medical equipment to support patient care in the current COVID-19 situation in Nepal.
Read more about the donation from Direct Relief.
Supporting distribution of medical aid
Watch the video link below to see how our parent organisation Mountain Heart Nepal brought oxygen concentrators to rural communities in less than no time during an emergency. The costs of air transport were supported by the local government.
In addition, we transported oxygen concentrators to a village located at the highest altitude of 3,985 m. Read more about the support from SRCH.
Oxygen Plant at Siddhasthali
To address the need for shortages of oxygen in our community, we set up an oxygen manufacturing plant at Siddhasthali Rural Community Hospital with grant assistance from Direct Relief. The plant produced oxygen-filled cylinders which were distributed to government hospitals and people in need. Read more about the oxygen shortages from Direct Relief.
Free Helpline Service
We established Toll-Free Helpline Service for COVID-19 patients with help from Plympton Rotary and CHANCE for Nepal (UK). We employed a field community counsellor who attended phone calls and made follow-ups with COVID-19 patients and their family members on home quarantine. The counsellor provided non-clinical advice, practical support and counselling including details about the isolation period and what contacts should do if they have or develop symptoms of COVID-19. Read more about the helpline service from Rotary Great Britain and Ireland.
Medical Assistance for Air Transport
Due to the difficult terrain in the mountains, the only way to transport Covid-19 patients to better health facilities in cities with available beds for time-critical medical intervention was by chartering helicopters. Our highly trained medical providers chipped in to provide safe transfer of patients. More on the visit: On the Ground
Providing Food Assistance
During the time, we offered help to the flood-affected Myagdi and Manang district of Gandaki Province by providing flood relief supplies including food parcels.
We sent an SOS to our partner organizations. With their support, we provided emergency food parcels to 470 marginalized groups and daily wage workers who lacked the income to buy food for their households.