Kathmandu, March 3 : The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) today received 6,048 sets of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), 50 thousand pairs of examination gloves, 50 thousand pieces of surgical mask and 27 sets of Inter-Agency Reproductive Health (IARH) kits that will augment the government’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, while ensuring continuity of essential reproductive health and gender-based violence response services.
The PPE, IARH kits and other supplies worth approximately Rs 30 million were procured by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) with the financial support of the People’s Republic of China under the existing south-south partnership initiative between Nepal, China and UNFPA. The IARH kits arecomprised ofessential drugs, supplies and equipmentthat enable service providers to ensure safe deliveries, manage obstetric complications as well as cases of sexual violence in health facilities.
At an event organised today at the ministry, the supplies were handed over to MoHP Chief Specialist Dr.Roshan Pokhrel by UNFPA. Present on the occasion were senior government and other partners.
After receiving the kits, Dr. Pokhrel said, “We are committed to ensuring continuity of essential reproductive health services for vulnerable women and girls during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our concerted efforts have been to combat COVID-19 and much of our financial and human resources have been focused on this goal with very good results hence the support of our development partners at this critical time is very much appreciated as the needs are significant. We are grateful to the People’s Republic of China for their generous support and UNFPA for facilitating this contribution”.
The MoHP will distribute the PPEs and other supplies to prioritisedhealth facilities across the country. “Ensuring health workers have the support and supplies needed to provide safe sexual and reproductive health services can be a matter of life and death for women and girls.
Despite the progressive policy environment in Nepal, preventable maternal deaths and prevalence of gender-based violence continues to be very high compared to other countries in the region. The support from the People’s Republic of China is highly appreciated and the MoHP efforts to combat complex health challenges during COVID-19 are commendable,” said UNFPA Country Representative Lubna Baqi.
Earlier in April last year, 1,200 sets of PPE kits,2,400 sets of body bags, 300 pairs ofgumboots and 3,600 pieces of hand sanitizerswere handed over to the Government of Nepal also under the same south-south partnership initiative.