3 ways we’ve responded to Nepal’s COVID-19 situation
1. Providing medication and check-ups to Gurkha veterans and widows
During the COVID-19 lockdown, our frontline medical staff have continued to provide medical advice, prescribing and dispensing services to our elderly and vulnerable Gurkha veterans and widows. However, our welfare centres are staffed with the minimum possible number of staff, and movement of staff between our centres has stopped. Our doctors and nurses only move out of their assigned welfare centre to deliver essential supplies or essential treatments to pensioners.
Because of these restrictions, our doctors, who would normally be travelling frequently to rural welfare centres, have some extra capacity, and we therefore approached the government health departments in Kathmandu and Pokhara on whether we could support their efforts to contain COVID-19.
In Pokhara, our doctors have been answering the Hello Doctor toll free advice hotline number, to advise members of the public about COVID-19.
2. Our water teams are helping the Government of Nepal
Our Rural Water and Sanitation team have initiated their own effort in supporting the Government of Nepal’s response throughout its current water project footprints spread over 3 provinces and 15 districts in Nepal by:
• Providing Water, Sanitation and Healthcare (WASH) facilities at local hospitals and quarantine centres.
• Tackling the issue of COVID-19 within wider communities by supporting Gaunpalika and Municipalities.
Activities carried out so far:
a. 425 COVID-19 communication materials distributed
b. 44 temporary handwashing points installed in health posts, schools, quarantine centres, rural municipalities, village entry points, and park areas
c. 19 awareness programmes conducted
d. 18 handmade masks prepared and distributed by our staff
e. A YouTube video to inform the community
3. Financial aid to Gurkha pensioners
We deliver financial aid to over 4,000 Gurkha veterans and widows in Nepal who aren’t eligible to receive a British Army pension. For many, this is their only source of income.
Amidst the ongoing restrictions, we continue to provide financial and emergency welfare support. Veterans who do not have access to bank accounts are most affected in the current situation. Our welfare and medical staff are deploying together to reach out to these areas and deliver essential medicine and their money at the same time.