by Corinne Yank, GoPhil Communications Manager
Across Nepal, COVID-19 cases are at an all-time high and predicted to double each week, quarantine facilities and hospitals are full, and strict restrictions remain in place. Families are under enormous financial pressure and are struggling to meet their basic needs. Tragically, during the 74 days of lockdown in Nepal, more than 1,200 people took their own lives.
According to national news, an average of 4,000 people have been returning from India (one of the countries worst hit with COVID-19 cases) into the far-western districts of Nepal each day, predominantly migrant laborers who’ve lost their jobs. With all this movement, COVID-19 cases are no longer confined to more urban areas. For the first time since the start of the global pandemic, cases are being confirmed in the highly remote villages where GoPhil partner PHASE Nepal works, and people are dying. These regions are severely under-resourced and lack adequate healthcare facilities, therefore are “highly vulnerable” during this pandemic.
“Please support us in reaching these communities, where pandemic situations like this can quickly develop into a humanitarian crisis.”
• PHASE Nepal Team •
With these concerning circumstances, PHASE Nepal’s life-saving community health services are more valuable and essential than ever before. Over the last three months of lockdown in Nepal, with strict travel restrictions and many healthcare facilities closed down, vast numbers of people have been deprived of basic and emergency health services across the country.
PHASE Nepal’s dedicated teams have continued to provide essential healthcare in some of the most remote communities, including the following key services:
- Supporting the local government to develop further plans for quarantine facilities with the increasing number of returnees.
- Facilitating Health Management Committee meetings to plan for further health posts essentials.
- Data collection of patients who are taking chronic disease medicine so that the municipality can plan ahead and ensure medicine is available.
- Successfully delivering 57 babies, including complicated cases such as retained placenta, due date delayed by two weeks, resuscitation due to cord around the neck, and referral cases such as patients with hepatitis, breech deliveries, ectopic pregnancy and high blood pressure cases.
- Providing essential services like family planning, antenatal care and other emergency services in all the project areas. So far,11,528 people have received services from PHASE Nepal supported health posts and remote health desks.
- With support from the GoPhil Rapid Response Fund, PHASE Nepal has also been providing 79 people with disabilities with food, medical supplies and other essential support during the crisis and lockdown.
Because COVID-19 cases are being confirmed in PHASE Nepal working districts for the first time since the start of the pandemic, all PHASE Nepal staff in the field are required to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and maintain social distancing as much as possible while providing these essential services to the communities.
All of us at GoPhil are inspired by what PHASE Nepal continues to accomplish in the face of so much hardship. At the same time, we are highly concerned about how the crisis will develop in Nepal over the coming weeks and months and how rural communities will be impacted.
If you are able, please consider making a donation to PHASE Nepal via the GoPhil Rapid Response Fund so that we can continue to stand by their team and communities in these most challenging of times.