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De Corona ramp in Nepal

De coronacrisis in Nepal heeft dramatische vormen aangenomen sinds begin mei. Dagelijks overlijden honderden mensen in het ziekenhuis, op de stoep ervoor of thuis omdat de zorg overbelast is.

“Zo’n 45 procent van alle testcentra staat in de Kathmandu Vallei, waar slechts 2 van de 29 miljoen inwoners wonen. Uit de provincies die aan India grenzen is er amper data en dat is een gigantisch probleem. Als het zo doorgaat ontstaat er straks misschien wel een Nepalese covid-19-variant.” – Nepalese epidemioloog Lhamo Y Sherpa

De capaciteit van de ziekenhuizen is nog veel kleiner dan in India. Niet alleen omdat Nepal nog armer is, maar ook door het culturele taboe op werken in de zorg. Artsen en verpleegkundigen hebben een lage sociale status: ze worden geassocieerd met ziekte. Huurders die in de verpleging werken wil een huisbaas liever niet hebben. Dus de meeste Nepalese zorgmedewerkers werken in het buitenland. Dat leidt tot schrijnende situaties: een ziekenhuis heeft drie IC-bedden met beademing, maar niemand die weet hoe die apparatuur werkt.

Wat betekent dit voor de kinderen in onze projecten, de stafmedewerkers? Zij verliezen hun ouders, want voor hen, de allerarmsten is geen plek. Tirtha, oprichter van lokale partnerorganisatie Child Watabaran Center Nepal (CWCN) vertelt ons hoe het nu voor zijn organisatie is:

About CWCN staff and project activities:

We have taken an extra-ordinary decision to limit the operation of CWCN to the most basic and minimum level. This is because our manager director is on sick leave following COVID-19 infection, one of program officers has her husband being critically ill due to COVID-19. Another staff’s parents are sick, and she was forced to leave Kathmandu to be able to take care of her ill parents. 6 to 7 families of Ex-beneficiaries (the youths who lived in CWCN child homes in the past) are infected and we are in constant touch with them and are providing the support.

Due to the continuous lock down, staffs are not being able to move from one place to another. At this situation, implementation of project activities has come to a complete halt. The staffs who are available at CWCN child home in Nayapati are making sure the girls living in our care get care and counseling they need. Others who are working from home are in touch with the project districts schools, communities, ex-beneficiaries. We have started a crisis counseling by appointing a counselor who is available for talk with staffs and the ex-beneficiaries.

COVID-19 response package:

Social Welfare council has requested all the development partners (NGOS and INGOS) to reorient certain part of the budget to respond to the crisis caused by COVID-19. The associations having less than 50 million rupees annual budget are requested to allocate at least 20% of annual budget to respond to the covid-19 crisis. The emergency needs of Nepal is outside the expertise and resources of CWCN. However, we are planning to re-align the budget to respond to providing counseling hotlines, food support to most needy people and health staffs and medicines to local health centers. A package including these activities are being developed but these plans are subjected to staff’s availability to be able to implement these. As our utmost priority is to keep the available staffs safe from COVID-19 infection, mobilization of available all available staffs to such response package will not be possible.

De opbrengst van De Club van Duizend dit jaar zal mede worden besteed aan dit project zodat CWCN voldoende middelen heeft om noodhulp te kunnen bieden.

Lockdown and Crisis situation:

The central authority has given power to the local administrative office (District Administration Office, such as Kathmandu as one district) to decide on the form of restrictions. As the rate of infection is increasing even though the rate of death is decreasing. Schools remain closed. Other than the emergency and basic needs vehicle, the life stands still. Many are calling a collapse of the health care system (if there was any functioning system) and demanding announcement of state of health emergency. The fear, lack of contract tracing, stigma faced by infected are creating even more complicated situation. Due to poorly managed isolation centers and due to the fear that authorities may send the infected to such poorly managed isolation centers, people are afraid of doing COVID test even though they have symptoms. Risk for family members to be infected is higher due to the household structure as joint family live in a single house with very limited space. So, isolation does not function. Despite such development, there is a political instability, and the oppositions are summoning supreme court against the sacking of parliament by the president. Opposition parties have started some public demonstrations. These developments just add more risks. Amid such chaos, government and other organizations are requesting other countries for support in term of medical equipment’s and vaccines.

Heftig om te lezen, vinden jullie ook niet? Het contrast met Nederland is enorm. Heel veel mensen zijn inmiddels gevaccineerd, of hebben toegang tot deze vaccinaties. Met de laatste versoepelingen in ons achterhoofd plannen we onze vakanties en gaan we met elkaar weer naar een restaurant.

Maar tegelijkertijd vechten deze families in Nepal en India voor hun bestaan. Vandaar dat wij de campagne De Club van Duizend ook dit jaar zijn gestart. Wij willen samen met duizend bedrijven in De Club van Duizend deze gezinnen helpen om door deze crisis heen te komen.

Doe jij ook mee?