UNICEF hands over first prefabricated health facility
April 2, 2017 04:38 PM NPT
DARBUNG, April 2: The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF)has handed over a prefabricated health post in Darbung, Gandaki Gaun Palika Ward 5, amidst an event which also included the ward being declared as fully immunized.
During a colourful ceremony on Saturday, the keys of the new facility were handed over to Bina Shrestha Pradhan, Health Post In-Charge.
This is the first of the 74 health posts that UNICEF is supporting in the earthquake impacted areas, and the first of the 14 health posts funded by the Leo Messi Foundation to be completed and handed over to the government. Five additional health posts which have been completed will be handed over shortly, to be followed in the coming months by others that are in various stages of completion.
The new disaster-resilient health facility may last for a decade or more with proper maintenance and can withstand strong wind, fire, and earthquake shocks as well as severe weather conditions, enabling the community to receive continuous care and services even in the aftermath of a disaster. The new health facility which also includes a birthing centre, is fully furnished, including medical equipment, and connected with water supply and power back up systems.
More than 1,200 health facilities were either damaged or destroyed during the Nepal earthquakes taking a toll on the delivery of services and also exposing children and women to additional health risks. The Darbung health post, which was also destroyed by the earthquakes of 2015, had since then been providing services to its more than 3,500 residents from under tents.
"This handing over of the new disaster-resilient prefabricated health facilities exemplifies UNICEF's commitment to re-establish essential health services across earthquake-affected three provinces of Nepal," said Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Nepal Representative. "The initiation of services of the new health post here coincides with Darbung being declared fully immunised. I am hopeful that Darbung, with its new facility and the cooperation of the community continues to maintain that status in the future too."
In addition to helping establish the fully equipped prefabricated health posts, UNICEF is also helping to establish disaster-resilient cold chain system in 22 earthquake-impacted districts allowing for vaccines to be stored safely without electricity for up to 10 days, to enhance capacity of more than 350 health workers in effective vaccine management and to improve water supply in nearly 450 health facilities.