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[Nepal]Enhancing the local capacities for COVID management

Peace Winds Japan in collaboration with the local partner Institution for Suitable Actions for Prosperity (ISAP) has been implementing the project “Distribution of Medical and Health Supplies to Isolation Centers in Sindhupalchowk district, Nepal” to effectively manage the COVID infected population through well-equipped isolation centers and ultimately curb the community level transmission. The project is being funded by the Japan Platform (JPF) since July 2021.
The project has the main objective of enhancing the capacity of existing or establishing new isolation centers in four rural municipalities – Balefi, Sunkoshi, Panchpokhari Thangpal, and Tripurasundari. The isolation centers were equipped with beds and bedding materials consisting of mattresses, blankets, masks, sanitizers, among many other items. The essential medical equipment like oxygen concentrator, oximeter, thermal gun, etc. were supported to monitor and manage the symptoms of COVID in the admitted patients. Other COVID essentials like masks, sanitizers, face shield, PPE set, gloves, disinfectants, surgical caps were supported to the isolation centers for the use of admitted patients and health workers. General items like water dispenser, toothbrush, toothpaste, emergency light, etc. were also supported to ensure that the patients have the day-to-day basic needs within the vicinity. Apart from the materials, PWJ and ISAP also created awareness materials- posters, pasted on locations with high people mobility as well as handed over to the Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) for their door-to-door visits and public service announcements (PSAs) broadcasted on the popular local radio stations to disseminate the safety measures and information regarding the isolation centers. Until October 2021, the project will continue to support medical items and other essentials for the isolation centers based on the local demand.
The project team has worked closely with the local government and local health officials throughout the process. The team coordinated continuously initially to collect demand for each isolation center and also discussed about the handover of the items when the project phases out. PWJ intends to ensure that the items are owned by local entity and isolation centers are sustainably and efficiently used for the community members.
Fortunately, there is a decline in the transmission rate in the communities in Nepal but the loss of lives and overwhelming stress to the health structures, even in the urban parts of the country during the second wave during May 2021 has imparted a major lesson that it is necessary to become prepared beforehand for such situations. The current support has contributed to the community health structures to manage COVID cases locally and further control the transmission at the community through effective isolation system.

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