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COVID-19: Devastating 2nd wave in Nepal

Since mid-April 2021, Nepal has entered the 2nd wave of coronavirus pandemic and the situation is worsening day by day. Daily new confirmed cases are nearly to 10,000. Almost 50% of people tested are testing positive which is said to be highest ratio ever.  On 11 May, 9,317 new cases were confirmed positive out of 20,596 TR-PCR tests.  225 new deaths of COVID-19 positive patients were reported. Already hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, so it is hard to find a hospital bed when needed.  Even if a bed is available, the cost of the bed and treatment is very difficult for people to afford.  Nepal’s rural health system is unable to cope with the need for services due to limited resources of staff, essential medicines and health equipment. Ventilators and oxygen are in short supply.

The local province-level government has been given the authority to decide regarding lockdown or prohibitory orders.  Therefore, due to the continued rise of COVID-19 cases, almost all of Nepal’s districts are now under full lockdown.

 

Before the 2nd wave of the pandemic started, medical and frontline workers began receiving vaccination, followed by people over 60 years of age. Currently, due to the 2nd wave of the pandemic, vaccination has stopped. Many frontlines are awaiting their second dose and the rest of Nepal’s population are still waiting for their first dose to be able to battle against the coronavirus.

In the midst of this pandemic, we request you join together with us to serve people in need, as we did in the first wave of the pandemic. 

This is a brief summary of ACN’s Response to Covid-19 first wave in 2020.

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CGI Sheets distribution to landslide affected families of Myagdi

CGI sheets distirbution_Myagdi

On 14 April 2021, ACN has supported landslide-affected families with Corrugated Galvanized Iron (CGI) sheets (tin sheet for roofing) in Dhawalagiri Rural Municipality-7, Myagdi District, despite many challenges caused by COVID-19.  There were 42 families who received CGI sheets as support to reconstruct their home.  Each family received 3 bundles of CGI sheets and 3 kg of needles for roofing purposes.

Before this, ACN had distributed food relief packages to 85 landslide affected families as requested by the local government in Dhawalagiri Rural Municipality-7, Myagdi District. After the food relief packages distribution, we have seen some families in need of support for the reconstruction of the house. Therefore, as per the observed need and request of the local government, we planned for CGI sheets distribution program which went well in the participation of local ward Chairman, Mr. Kalanidhi Sharma, local representatives and ACN team including ACN’s treasurer, Mr. Purna Lal Kayestha.

A local Newspaper ‘ Dhaulagiri Khabar’ has published news on the distribution of CGI sheets to landslide-affected families by ACN in Dhaulagiri Rural Municipality-7 Myagdi District.

 

Find the link below https://dhaulagirikhabar.com/6212/?fbclid=IwAR0SqvdStFVukaSWThw6EJSr5dVNdQ5-HRSG0CfEHu486nmx_Dhog_EHIaA

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Newly Constructed Bhirsingh Community Health Unit handed over in Gorkha

On 19th February 2021 ACN has handed over the newly constructed Bhirsingh Community Health Unit building with the essential medicine, equipment, and furniture to the local health post, Siranchowk Rural Municipality, and community in Gorkha district.

The building has been jointly inaugurated by Chief Guest Mr. Ashok Kumar Gurung, (Chief, Office of the District Coordination Committee), Mr. Raju Gurung (Chairman of Siranchowk RM), Ps. Hari Ram Ghimire (Chairman of Pokhara Christian Community and Mr. Bharat Bahadur Gurung (Chairman of Asal Chhimekee Nepal) in the presence of other government officials and representatives, ACN Executive Board members and Executive Director and community people.

Immediately after the Inaugural and Handover of the building, Bhirsingh Community Health Unit commenced health service with checking blood pressure of the Chief Guest and other local community people which was very great to see. 

All the villagers and local stakeholders are very grateful to ACN for providing basic health service in their own place. From now they do not have to walk hours to reach the distance health post for a very basic health facility. This newly constructed Bhirsingh Community Health Unit will benefit approximately 170 households in Siranchowk Rural Muncipality-1, Kerabari, Gorkha.

We would like to thank our funding partners and Siranchowk Rural Municipality for their support and cooperation in this construction project.

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Food and warm clothes support to 170 Families

On 22 January 2021, ACN has provided food and warm cloth packages to 170 poor Chepang (a marginalized ethnic group) families in Raksirang Rural Municipality, Makwanpur district in cooperation with the local government.

The Chepang community is known as a marginalized ethnic group in Nepal and this most vulnerable marginalized ethnic group also got an impact of COVID-19 lockdown.

Raksirang is a village located in the north of the East-West highway. Most Chepang families of Raksirang collect wild potatoes and honey etc. They also do maize and millet farming and they do fishing and collect and sell sand of a nearby river seasonally.

This Chepang community has one of the lowest literacy rates and lack of access to basic public services such as drinking water, electricity, education, and health care. In this context, the COVID-19 lockdown had an impact on this vulnerable marginalized community. Due to their characteristic of socio-economic and cultural settings they cannot be left out from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. Therefore local government of Raksirang village requested to ACN for support to poor Chepang families of Raksirang. As per the need assessment, we (ACN) has been able to support 170 poor Chepang families in ward no 2 & 5 of Raksirang Rural Municipality. 

Each family received food packages including 25 kg of rice, 3 kg of lentil, 2 kg of beans, 1 kg of salt, 2 liters of oil, 2 pcs of cloth washing soap, 2 pcs of handwashing soap, 4 pcs of toothbrushes, and toothpaste. In addition, each family received warm cloth packages including 2 blankets, a muffler (Dhaka Shawl), and a cap. 

Thanks to our funding partners and Raksirang Rural Municipality for their cooperation and support.

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Educational material support eases the burden of parents

Karuna Pahadi (7) and Karishma Pahadi (9) are two sisters who are studying in grades 3 and 5 respectively. They live with their parents in ward no 7, Pokhara, Kaski. Their father works on a daily wage basis and earns NPR 700 per day. Their mother Lalita Pahadi can perform limited household activities after she got fractured on her arm.  She was not able to afford an operation she needed. Due to a delay in treatment, her operation was not successful. Since then she has difficulties moving her arm and lifting heavy materials.

Her mother Lalita Pahadi told to us,” Due to COVID-19 lockdown, my husband had no work and we were struggling hard to manage our daily expenses. However now lockdown is over but my husband hasn’t been able to go and find a work regularly. A few years ago, we used to send our daughter to a private boarding school but due to our poor income, we could not manage to meet the expenses of a private boarding school. Then we admitted our daughters to a nearby government school. Both girls were anxious when they had to leave the boarding school and they thought that their new (government) school would not be as good as the previous one.  Currently, their school is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “

Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, their school remains closed and they are studying by streaming a channel program from a Radio. They want to go to school soon. However now lockdown is over so some schools are opening and some are planning to open with safety precaution. Lalita Said,” When my daughter’s school called them to receive stationeries, my girls were very happy.”

Both Karuna and Karishma were glad to get a new school uniform, shoes, and school bag with other stationery as they knew that in this situation their parents could not afford to buy for them. They said, “This support will help our parents free from the burden to buy these stuffs for us. Thank you! “