With the increase of COVID-19 related cases, demands for ventilators and ICU beds have also increased. However, Nepal is unable to fulfill the demands. At a time when Nepal desperately needs ventilators, the U.S. comes to rescue Nepal from the health catastrophe, donating 100 ventilators, which is equivalent to the existing numbers of ventilators in Nepal.
On November 13, 2020, the United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), donated 100 state-of-the-art ventilators to Nepal to assist its fight against COVID-19. For more than 70 years, through disaster, conflict and rough times, the United States has stood by Nepal in partnership and, continuing this collaboration, it was helping the people of Nepal through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is great support for us at the time of major crisis. With these ventilators, Nepal’s health system will be now able to provide much-needed life-saving support to a large number of patients of COVID-19,” said Minister of Health and Population Bhanubhakta Dhakal. Dhakal thanked the US government for its continued support in modernizing Nepal’s health sector.
As minister Dhakal said the US has been providing much-needed support to Nepal’s health sector for the last seven decades of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
From the early stage of Nepal’s health sector development, the U.S. has remained a major development partner providing all kinds of support to Nepal’s health sector, from the community to policy levels.
As the United States, the world, and Nepal confront an increase in COVID-19 cases, America stands with the Nepali people to combat the pandemic that has hit both the countries hard. To help relieve the pressure on some of the most critical cases, the U.S. government is providing these highly versatile ventilators to help even the most remote communities. They are compact, deployable, and provide Nepal with portable flexibility in treating patients affected by the virus. For COVID-19 patients whose lungs are not working adequately, this vital resource may prove life-saving.
During the event, U.S. Ambassador Randy Berry stated, “The United States remains committed to its partnership with Nepal through the best and worst of times. With these ventilators, we want to help Nepali families be prepared to help their loved ones that are the most affected by COVID-19.”
In addition to the ventilators, USAID activities have also supported 113 municipal contact tracing and case investigation teams, provided COVID-19 telephone counseling to almost two million families, conducted remote health counseling with more than 500,000 families during the lockdowns, identified more than 60,000 food-insecure families and referred them to food aid programs, and reached more than 14 million people with mass media messages about COVID-19.
USAID is also funding a tailored package of ventilator support that includes accompanying equipment, service plans, and technical assistance. This donation builds on the $28.3 million (3.4 billion NPR) to active projects that USAID has committed to Nepal in response to the pandemic. The United States is committed to providing an All-of-America approach for life-saving support by coordinating with the Government of Nepal.
By providing 100 ventilators in the midst of a major health crisis in Nepal, U.S has shown once again its commitment to the health sector of Nepal. This is what makes the U.S a friend in need of Nepal.