KATHMANDU, April 20: The United Nations Population Fund on Monday handed over 1,200 Personal Protective Equipment kits worth Rs 30.48 million to Nepal government as part of its commitment to support the Government of Nepal in containing the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.
The PPE kits were donated by the Government of China under the Nepal, China and UNFPA south-south partnership initiaive, according to a press release issued by the UNFPA.
The kits worth Rs 30.48 million include surgical masks, N95 masks, face shields, eye goggles, head and shoe covers, long-sleeve impervious gowns, disposable bags and gumboots.
After receiving the PPE kits, the Director of the Management Division, the Department of Health Services under the Ministry of Health and Population, Bhogendra Dotel said, “These PPE kits arrived in a timely manner and will greatly help in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We thank UNFPA and the Government of China.”
“With more people in need of testing and treatment amid the increasing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, it is critical to protect the frontline health workers. Attention should be given to their work environment as well as their health and pschosocial needs at this time,” the UNFPA Country Representative for Nepal Lubna Baqi was quoted by UNFPA Nepal in its press release as saying.
“Alongside WHO and other UN agencies working in Nepal, UNFPA stands ready to support the Government of Nepal in its preparedness and response to this pandemic.”
UNFPA also called on the goverment and partners to help ensure continuity of essential life-saving reproductive health services.
In addition to the PPE kits, UNFPA has provided Dignity Kits to address the immediate hygiene and protection needs of women and girls in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, in coordination with the government and local partners, according to the press release. These kits contain 14 different items such as soap, reusable menstrual pads, and other essential items for women and girls.
“In time of crisis such as this outbreak, women and girls are at a higher risk of intimate partners violence and other forms of domestic violence. Hence, life-saving care and suport to gender-based violence survivors, such as the services offered by One Stop Crisis Management Centres, shelter and safe houses, helplines must be strengthened”, the UNFPA representative further said.