CRISIS IN NEPAL - COVID 19
Update from The Small World –
We hope this email finds you and yours safe and well.
Unfortunately, we are very sad to share that with the 2nd wave of COVID spreading through Nepal like a wildfire, our health system is at a breaking point; the number of recorded infections is doubling every 3 days among the largely unvaccinated population, with one person dying every 5 minutes. “People are dying literally because of lack of oxygen and there are no hospital beds,” a senior government medical official told the Human Rights Watch.
The infection apparently spread from the open and poorly managed border of India to the Base camp of Mt. Everest; recently, a number of climbers were rescued from Everest.
As of today, most of the hospitals have said they will discharge admitted patients because there are not enough resources to treat them. We are completely out of ventilators, oxygen cylinders, and hospital beds, including those in the ICU. Nepal has about 560 ventilators, but not all are in working order. Yesterday, the health minister and prime minister jointly appealed for more help from donor countries to fight against Covid. The government’s response to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Nepal has been slow and poorly managed. The government’s willingness to devote its attention to the crisis remains unclear. The prime minister, K.P. Sharma Oli, has repeatedly recommended herbal remedies, such as guava leaves, as a cure for Covid-19.
With the crisis continuing In Nepal, marginalized communities in remote villages are relying on our support now more than ever. To deliver the support is a challenge in itself, but we are not giving up. We will continue to support these communities as much as possible with immediate response. This is possible because, as a local organization, The Small World team can reach them faster, their situations are well known to us, and we closely coordinate with local authorities to make bigger impacts on the ground and work together to get through this difficult situation.
We are also deeply concerned about long term support, especially for continuing children’s education. Our staff are working hard to provide a safe place to live with free quality education for orphans and other at risk, vulnerable children. However, their continuing education, which is already endangered, will certainly be in jeopardy after this pandemic, which could last for many months or even years.
We’re doing everything possible to sustain daily operations and provide services directly to our over 300 children.
We are trying to adapt as quickly as possible to our changing reality, but with such a great deal of uncertainty, we have no idea when the situation will normalize with the ongoing lockdown, further damage to the economy, and with most of Nepal’s health system collapsing. Government aid, which is accessible in developed countries, does not exist at all in Nepal. Every family and community, including vulnerable children, are totally responsible for their own welfare, even in circumstances beyond their control, such as world pandemics. And today, if people are infected with Covid-19, they receive no aid but must handle all expenses, even in hospital.
But for now, for today, we want to make sure all our children are safe and have enough food for a minimum of 6 months, including face masks, educational materials, drinking water, and basic health care. To accomplish this minimum, additional support is urgently needed. Now, more than ever, our hundreds of children and communities need us. And we need you. In times like this, we’re reminded of how interconnected we all are.
Thank you and Namaste !