All our projects in Nepal have taken place in the Khotang District; our COVID Relief response is no different. Our partner in the Makpa Health Post and Birthing Center, Janasewa Samaj Nepal, designed and is implementing D2N's COVID Relief Initiative. This response consists of the following:
- SUPPORT TO GOVERNMENT VILLAGE SCHOOLS AND STUDENTS:
Schools reopened September 1, 2020. A coordinated effort between teachers, students, ward (village) and municipality officials resulted in a plan to provide educational material, hand washing stations, masks and hand sanitizer at 72 public schools.
- JOB TRAINING AND START-UP SUPPORT:
Unable to find work, many young men in rural Nepal go to the urban areas of Nepal and abroad. Janesewa Samaj Nepal has long tried to address this migration. During the pandemic many young men have returned to their home villages after losing their jobs outside of Khotang. Creating jobs for these young men addresses the immediate need of a job as well as a way to keep them permanently in Khotang. A week-long “Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB)" training is being provided in ten different wards. Candidates will then be selected to receive a one-time matching grant to support their business plan. Periodic monitoring of their business plan will be performed on an ongoing basis. D2N is also funding jobs to create 10,000 cloth masks.
3. COVID EDUCATION AND AWARENESS:
COVID awareness is not widespread in Khotang's villages. For that reason short educational segments about the spread and prevention of COVID are being broadcasted (in six different languages!) on four local FM radio stations.
4. HOME QUARANTINE SUPPORT:
Janesewa Samaj Nepal is working with wards and health posts to help coordinate and support home quarantine for individuals returning from urban areas or abroad. At least one quarantine center is available in each of the ten municipalities. Hand sanitizer, leaflets, posters and masks have been distributed to each ward office.
5. FREE RURAL HEALTH CAMPS:
D2N has constructed and supported multiple health posts (rural medical clinics) and birthing centers which provide free health care. Due to the stresses of COVID, there were gaps in the care that these facilities could provide. Furthermore, those individuals requiring referral to a facility for problems requiring more sophisticated care were unable to go to referral centers during COVID restrictions on travel. In response, D2N is fully funding free health camps at five different locations. Services will complement the health care provided at the health posts, including ophthalmology evaluation and operations, radiology, lab testing, dental services and minor procedures and operations.
The first health camp took place in Ainselukharka on February 17/18, 2021. A total of 531 people attended over the two days - 65 video xrays taken, 51 teeth xtracted, 19 pap smears collected and sent to Kathmandu for evaluation, 40 pairs of glasses distributed to senior citizens and prescribed medicine dispensed. More than ten medical professionals staffed the camp.