Reaching out to communities during the COVID-19 pandemic!

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has highly impacted all the people around the world. Mainly the developing countries like India and Nepal have been highly affected by the pandemic. In Nepal, a nationwide lockdown has been implemented which has halted every sector of the country. There is an economic crisis all over the place. The health system has degraded and there is a high increase in mortality rate. Everyone is going through a difficult situation.

In Nepal, the COVID-19 cases were rising as well as the death rates were also rising beyond everyone’s expectations. The high flow of COVID cases filled all the hospitals of the country. Most of the cases needed oxygen and there was high demand for oxygen in every hospital. During this tough situation, CHFN has reached out to support the health systems of underdeveloped communities.

Compassionate Hands for Nepal (CHFN) in partnership with Tearfund Nepal aimed to support Local government of Helambu and Jugal through health equipment and health materials support to respond and manage COVID-19 cases in both Palikas.

There was a prior need for health equipment and health materials which were important to the health personnel, and health volunteers while providing health services and care to the COVID-19 infected persons and other patients having severe sicknesses. Hence CHFN decided to support Helambu Rural Municipality with health equipment such as Oxygen Concentrators, Pulse oximeter, Infrared Thermometer, and health materials include PPE, Gloves, Sanitizer, surgical masks and face shields, and Jugal Rural municipality with Oxygen concentrators.

On 1 June CHFN has handed over 7 pieces of Medical Oxygen Concentrators, 18 pieces pulse oximeters, 18 pieces infrared Thermometers, 10 box (1000 pieces) surgical gloves, 18-gallon (90 liters) Sanitizer, 40 boxes (2000 pieces) surgical masks and 200 pieces face shields to both the local municipalities. Additionally, a patient monitor, 10 gallons of sanitizer, 25 PPE sets, 250 antigen kits, and nutritious food to prepare 200 meals for the patients and staff of the isolation Centre were supported.

The local health Post of Helambu through the local government was privileged to receive the health equipment and materials support from CHFN. Similarly Quarantine Centre of Jugal rural municipality was also privileged to receive the medical equipment.

It has been a great support to Helambu to respond and manage COVID-19 Cases. Like last year, this year also we have received a bigger amount of health material support. We appreciate the work of CHFN and acknowledge the support provided by the organization. CHFN has been supporting the Local health posts with health equipment, health materials, and medicines to improve the health facilities of local health posts of Helambu, so we acknowledge the great support of CHFN here in Helambu during the COVID-19 crisis.

Health Post In-charge of Helambu, Mr. Gyanendra Sigdel

We could see our patients suffering due to lack of oxygen and there was nothing we could do about it. We could not re-fill the empty cylinders and bring them back on time due to lack of road access any many more difficulties. But as we received the oxygen concentrators, we are now able to supply oxygen to severe patients. This help has really built strength in us. We have become hopeful to save the patients’ lives. Even during this rainy season and after coordination with many people, CHFN has brought these materials to us. I am grateful to CHFN on behalf of our isolation center. We are concerned to save the lives of people as far as possible. People are coming to this center with shortness of breath and after they take the oxygen, they start to breathe normally. After they become well, they thank every staff of the isolation center which has brought relief and a sense of happiness to all of us. This is only possible because we have found such helping hands and serving hearts to support the needy people.”

Coordinator of the isolation center, Mr. Puspa Raj Timalsina

As COVID-19 cases are increasing day by day in Jugal, 3 Oxygen Concentrators supported by CHFN have been a great support to Jugal Rural Municipality in this difficult situation. We acknowledge the support and express our gratitude towards CHFN. Although CHFN does not have a long-term project right now in Jugal, CHFN has been extending their helping hands in Jugal during difficult times. Even last year, CHFN provided winterization and hygienic kit support to Lidhi landslide displaced families. Therefore, we acknowledge the work of CHFN and always want to provide official support from Jugal Rural municipality for cooperation with CHFN also in near future.”

Deputy Mayor of Jugal Rural Municipality, Ms. Sirjana Tamang

Food relief distribution

There are many communities nearby city areas that live below the poverty line and rely on daily wages. During this difficult situation, there were families who ran out of food and had nothing to eat the very next day. Therefore, CHFN in partnership with Building Strong Families decided to support few families of the project site located in Chhmapi and Sunakothi with a food package. On 27th May 2021, the CHFN team went out to provide food relief packages to Chhampi and Sunakothi families. The food relief packages included all the basic food items which are essential in every household to have at least a two-time meal. The package included a 25kg bag of rice, pulses, chickpeas, green peas, a packet of salt, sugar, cooking oil, beaten rice, and handwashing soap (4 small packets). Each family received the food packages which included all these items. Overall, 16 families received the food relief packages. All the families who received the packages thanked CHFN and the whole team.

I am really thankful to the CHFN team who have helped us during this crisis. Even during this unfavorable situation, the team risked their lives and came out to help us. We were so much in problem, and we almost ran out of food but here we have all the foods that we needed. God bless you and keep you safe.”

A family member of Chhampi, Mina Bista

Impact of food relief distribution

The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected mainly those people who come under the marginalized group. The economic condition of the daily wage workers and their families has declined to almost zero because they have lost their jobs and are unemployed. This has created a lot of problems for them to earn daily bread for themselves as well as their family. 

Aasa Lopchan and her family are one of the beneficiaries of the KFT project who are going through a tough time during this pandemic. Aasa is a mother of three little children, and she is the only one who earns and looks after her family. She used to work as a labor on construction sites but due to lockdown, all the construction works have been stopped which has affected her earning source. Currently, she is jobless, and she does not even have any savings to feed her family. 

Since the economic condition of Aasa’s family was very poor, the CHFN team in partnership with Orphan Voice decided to provide special support to this family through the Keeping Families Together Project. The team reached Aasa’s home with food packages which included a 25kg bag of rice, sugar, salt, green peas, chickpeas, beaten rice, cooking oil, pulses, and handwashing soaps.

It was heartbreaking to see her little children eating only some spinach vegetables because there was not a single grain of rice in her house. Aasa could not tell her children that there was no rice left to eat. She was lying to her children that she would cook rice for them in the evening. 

Fortunately, the CHFN team handed Aasa’s family all the basic food items which brought a different kind of happiness to her. The children were also happy to receive the food items. She said that she had never thought she would get this support from anywhere, but this was like a miracle to her. Aasa thanked the team for proving her family with the food packages during this crucial time.