COVID and flood relief and recovery in Nepal
Benjamin Chan and Carole Sydnor
August 17, 2020
International Ministries (IM) and the American Baptist World Relief Office have provided COVID and flood relief and recovery funds to partners in Nepal. Former development worker and current IM Special Assistant for Nepal Relations Carole Sydnor shared how she has handled the related assessment and monitoring work with Nepal partners
“Two of IM’s partners were awarded the OGHS COVID-19 International Fund grants. Each partner has been focusing on different ways of COVID Relief ministry depending on each’s location within the country and its specific capabilities. A quick general overall summary of these funds is that food has been provided, health posts and police posts have received health kits, free medicine has been available to patients, and COVID-19 radio awareness is being broadcasted in rural areas.
*Human Development and Community Services (HDCS)
HDCS leadership is very proud of its staff who have worked tirelessly and risking their lives to serve others. Many people have benefitted through the services provided by HDCS’ various projects: Asha Bal Bikash Sewa (ABBS – the day care center for children living with disabilities), Community Radio Initiative Nepal (CoRIN) AFNO FM, the Kathmandu International Study Centre (KISC which services the educational need of students from Pre KG – 12.), the Public Health Project, and three rural hospitals.
*ABBS has provided food for some of the more needy families of the ABBS children.
*CoRIN AFNO FM is broadcasting in its 3 radio stations COVID-19 important awareness messages. The mainstream programs regularly broadcast information about the landslide and floods that has been happening all over Nepal, reminding people to be safe and stay secured during this pandemic and time of natural disaster. People are getting important information from the radio.
*KISC is providing online classes to its students. Because of the time difference between Nepal and where some of the students and teachers of KISC are located the USA, Australia, Korea, Japan, it is difficult to manage and adjust the schedule of classes accordingly.
*Hospitals: Chaurjahari Hospital Rukum (CHR), Lamjung District Community Hospital (LDCH) and Gunjaman Hospital Chitwan (GHC) were requested by the Government of Nepal to treat COVID-19 positive cases. Isolation facilities are now at each hospital. All the medical staff are taking precautionary measures to stop the transmission of the virus by using Personal Protective Equipment at all times during close contact with the patients. Food distribution was done and required medicines, supplies and PPE were purchased from the grant money.
“In the middle of July incessant rain for two days caused the flooding and landslide disaster: 116 fatalities, 50 missing people,138 injured persons, 616 affected families, and 300 houses were damaged. Flood and landslide caused havoc in Lamjung also. Between 1:15 am – 3:00 am, three injured people were brought to LDCH, were admitted and treated in the emergency department. Three others who died in the landslide were also brought to the hospital.
“In response to this natural disaster, LDCH organized a one-day free health and post traumatic counseling camp with 6 medical staff who treated 130 patients. The services provided in the camp were general checkup, Post Traumatic Counseling, free medicine distribution and referring the patients to our hospital for further treatment. Villagers with Post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma caused while running away during the landslide were able to be helped. Most people affected by the disaster were Dalits, a group of people who do not have access to the good health care. The staff reported that it was such a blessing for LDCH to be able to show them our compassion and offer them medical services free of cost.”
*Multipurpose Community Development Service (MCDS)
MCDS provided Covid-19 support to 42,971 people from 3 areas of its established relationship with the villagers in Rukum East, Lalitpur and Bara District. It provided food items, hygiene kits, PPE Sets, medicine, and Thermal Guns. Awareness leaflets were distributed. About 18,500 people in MCDS’ project areas have access now to awareness radio programs also supported by this funding.”