FAIRMED Nepal is closely monitoring the situation in its working districts and has been supporting local governments and provincial governments to respond to COVID-19 since the first case was reported in Nepal. After the recent directives from Social Welfare Council, FAIRMED has diverted some funds from its ongoing projects and is working in partnership with the Association of International NGOs in Nepal (AIN) to speed up our support to government efforts for preparedness and response.
We have been reaching out to all levels of governments to provide any needed support and are regularly engaged in three central clusters - Health Cluster; Risk Communication and Community Engagement Cluster; and Coordination, Planning and Monitoring Cluster - for synergizing efforts. Other non-budgetary support like dissemination of various guidelines, directives, action plans and instructions from concerned authorities is being continued to ensure all efforts are concentrated and in line with the protocol set.
Essential Health Project (EHP) in partnership with partner NGO Kalika Self-Reliance Social Center (KSSC) is supporting the local government for combating the potential health crises in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in the country. As a part of the response, the project team, in coordination with the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD) of Province-5, supported with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and supplies which included 700 pairs of sterile and 850 pairs of non-sterile gloves, 2,000 disposable head covers, 55 bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, 32 bottles of disinfectant liquid, and 65 pieces of handwashing soaps to two dedicated COVID-19 treatment centres - Bhim Hospital, Bhairahawa and District Hospital, Taulihawa. The project handed over gloves, hand sanitizers, disinfectant liquid, and handwashing soaps to 14 local levels of Kapilvastu and Rupandehi districts for infection prevention and control at quarantine facilities and peripheral health facilities.
Apart from that, EHP helped install WASH facilities (with items such as buckets, mugs, water bottles, soaps, among others) at health desks currently established along various corridors of Nepal-India border in 10 local levels of Kapilvastu district. With a purpose to raise awareness among community people for prevention of COVID-19, 15,000 pamphlets and 10 flex posters were printed and distributed in 18 local levels of Kapilvastu, Rupandehi and Nawalparasi West where EHP has its interventions. Besides, the project also partnered with local FM stations in Nawalparasi and Kapilvastu to relay COVID-19 awareness jingles two times a day, targeting the local community people.
Likewise, Rural Health Improvement Project (RHIP), in coordination with Management Division and Department of Health Services, also supplied 15 sets of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Dhaulagiri Hospital, Baglung to address their immediate need. Apart from that, the project provided mattresses, bed covers, pillows and dustbins for 90 beds to set up quarantine spaces in three local levels of Sindupalchowk district - Panch Pokhari, Melamchi and Helambu.
The community health mobilizers have been assisting in screening foreign returnees and counselling them to get quarantined, and have also been actively spreading awareness to the community people about handwashing, social distancing and other ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The project team is proactively participating in meetings organized by local government and providing technical support to the municipal health team for the preparedness and response plan.