Medical Assistance to hospitals and isolation centres to combat massive surge of COVID-19

The second wave of COVID-19 has dealt a devastating blow to Nepal with families scrambling for hospital beds for their beloved ones and shortage of medical supplies all over the nation. In order to cope with this alarming situation and capacitate hospitals, laboratories and isolation centres for diagnosis, control and treatment of COVID-19, FAIRMED Nepal’s Essential Health Project (EHP) has provided emergency medical supplies and equipment worth NPR 2,992,322 to the provincial government, local governments, and health offices, so far. The initiative is still ongoing.

FAIRMED Nepal handed over medical supplies to Mr. Dinesh Chapagain, Director of Province Health Logistics Management Centre (PHLMC), Lumbini Province, in coordination with Province Health Directorate, at the premises of PHLMC Office on 23rd May (1st Phase) and 11th June (2nd Phase). The provided 14 items included oxygen concentrator (3 units), antigen kit (1,500 units), pulse oximeter (50 units), medical oxygen regulator (50 units), reservoir bag mask (226 units), face mask (6,000 units), among other items worth NPR 1,534,130. The medical supplies were targeted for frontline health workers working in COVID-19 special hospitals, provincial public health laboratory, and district-level hospitals of Lumbini Province.

Similarly, FAIRMED in coordination with its project working partners Kalika Self-Reliance Social Centre (KSSC), Indreni Social Development Forum (ISDF), and Indreni Rural Development Centre (IRDC) handed over essential medical supplies to health offices in three project working districts. The items were handed over to the chief of health offices (Rajendra Giri, Rupandehi; Hemraj Pandey, Kapilvastu; and Krishna Pokhrel, Nawalparasi West) on 25th May which included pulse oximeter (17 units), face mask (6,000 units), KN95 face mask (70 units), hand sanitizer (75 litres), and disinfectant (75 litres). The support was carried out to ensure the safety of health office team who were engaged in case investigation and contact tracing, COVID-19 vaccination program, supervision and support to health workers at isolation centres, and other activities organized in response to COVID-19.

Following the surge of COVID-19 cases, governments at local level in EHP project sites established isolation centres with some oxygen supply facility. However, the lack of adequate logistic supply and delay in management hampered the preparation and functioning of these isolation facilities. In response, FAIRMED Nepal through its implementing partners supported 18 isolation facilities -- Kapilvastu (10), Nawalparasi West (4) and Rupandehi (4) with 20 types of essential medical supplies. The support was conducted in three different phases which started from 2nd May and is still ongoing. The support items included face mask (26,500 units), KN95 face mask (170 units), face shield (610 units), sterile gloves (360 pairs), utility gloves (100 pairs), pulse oximeter (100 units), oxygen concentrator (1unit), home isolation leaflets (3,000 units), and various other items.

A total of 276 health workers and 383 COVID-19 patients from 18 isolation facilities established at project sites have benefitted from the project supported medical supplies so far. The support is ongoing in the project areas.