Nepal's government and hospital authorities have just launched two new COVID-19 (CTC) treatment centres Bhaktapur Hospital and Western Regional Hospital Pokhara through the technical assistance of Options’ Nepal Health Sector Support Programme (NHSSP) Health Infrastructure team.
These centres, which are fully equipped with operating theatres and diagnostic rooms, were originally built as part of an NHSSP project to increase the seismic resilience of the two hospitals and meant to serve as temporary ‘decant blocks’ that would enable the hospitals to run smoothly while renovations to the main buildings were carried out. At the request of the federal, provincial and local governments these blocks have now been converted to function as acute respiratory infection treatment centres during the emergency period.
Nepal has yet to be exposed to the full weight of the pandemic but the rate of infection is starting to increase, and like other lower income countries, Nepal has relatively few intensive care unit (ICU) beds, isolation wards, ventilators and biosafety equipment. This poses a real risk for the country when the country opens to tourists again and foreign migrant workers return.
Watch this video to find out how the programme helped the government increase its capacity to treat COVID-19 patients.