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Published On: August 16, 2021 04:58 PM NPT By: Republica

Nepal Mask Campaign launches with the slogan 'Let's wear masks, let's save each other’s lives'

Nepal Mask Campaign launches with the slogan 'Let's wear masks, let's save each other’s lives'

The Nepal Mask Campaign began with the slogan 'Let's wear masks, let's save each other's lives' amid an opening ceremony held at Duipokhari, Madhyapur Thimi on Monday.

The Nepal Mask Campaign is a pilot program against COVID-19 infection by the COVID-19 Rapid Action Taskforce (C-19 RAT) which is supported by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) under the leadership of Municipal Association of Nepal, Kathmandu Valley Mayor’s Forum and National Association of Rural Municipalities of Nepal among others.

C-19 RAT is a consortium of socially active organizations committed to address the issues and challenges arising from COVID-19. The coalition is adopting the Mask-Wearing campaign under the guidance of Yale University, Stanford Medicine, and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and many global entities. The Nepal Mask Campaign is slated to launch this August. The NORM Mask campaigns have already been successfully launched in Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Latin America.

The program began with the welcome remarks by Kumar Shrestha, Chairperson of Ward-4. Madan Sundar  Shrestha, Mayor of Madhyapur Thimi Municipality was the chairperson for the event where Chiribabu Maharjan, Mayor of Lalitpur Metropolitan City was the chief guest of the event.
Speaking on the occasion, Maharjan informed that the program has also started in Lalitpur and added, "Everybody has a mask these days, but some carry it in their hands, some in their pockets and some hang it on their chin. So it is very important for the volunteers to go to everyone's house and teach them how to wear masks. And this campaign has been designed to do so."

Moreover, Roshan Raj Shrestha, Deputy Director of Bills and Melinda Gates Foundation;  Preety Adhikari from Yale University; Bhawana Sharma, Executive Director of Environment and Public Health Organization; Dhiraj Pradhananga, President of The Small Earth Nepal among others were the guests for the event.

During the closing remarks, Shrestha said that the Nepal Mask Campaign began in Madhyapur Thimi as the COVID-19 cases were increasing day by day. He said, "According to the Covid Crisis Management Committee (CCMC), the most infected municipality in Bhaktapur district is Madhyapur Thimi, which has the highest number of wards, that's why the mask distribution has started from ward no. 4."

He expressed that the easiest and cheapest way to avoid corona is to wear a mask where he was confident that the campaign would help reduce COVID-19 infections. He added, "I believe this mask campaign will help reduce corona infections as it will take time to get vaccines for everyone, until then the only option to fight against COVID-19 and lessen its risk is to wear a mask."
The Nepal Mask Campaign has been launched through a blanket approach in the selected areas. C-19 RAT consortium members will plan for the continuation of the Nepal Mask Campaign after quick analysis of results as further support is received. The next destinations for the campaign launch are Melamchi and Sunsari.

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