Canada Supports Tele-Medicine Services for COVID-19 Patients in Rural Nepal

Canada Supports Tele-Medicine Services for COVID-19 Patients in Rural Nepal

June 23, 2021, 5:38 p.m.

Canada has announced funding of $50,000 (NR4,821,602) to the ASK Foundation of Nepal in support of its work in providing tele-medicine services to COVID-19 patients residing in rural areas of Nepal. This funding is provided through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives and supports the Government of Nepal’s COVID-19 Response Plan.

As part of this project the ASK Foundation will provide services to those affected by COVID-19, with a particular focus on those in the remote and rural parts of Nepal, including:

  1. a hotline providing medical consultations for COVID-19 patients;
  2. monitoring of COVID-19 patients in home isolation and the provision of timely referrals;
  3. tele-ICU services to connect patients with care centers, as well as connecting local doctors and nurses with experts in Kathmandu who provide on-line medical advice.

As a result of this project, approximately 20,000 COVID-19 patients from rural areas will receive medical counselling and hospitalization support for critical cases; an expected 1,000 COVID-19 patients in home isolation in rural areas will receive monitoring care and referrals for hospitalization; and an estimated 400 patients are also expected to benefit from tele-ICU services. In addition, the project will also provide on-the-job training to medical professionals practicing outside of Kathmandu to help them treat ICU patients.

The monitoring of patients in home isolation will be carried out in collaboration with Health Advance Programs (HAPSA), one of the members of the COVID Alliance. HAPSA will provide isolation kits, which include medical devices, medicines and leaflets containing information on related care for infection and a hotline number.

Deirdre Kent, Canada’s Acting Ambassador to Nepal, said: “Canada is pleased to continue supporting lifesaving efforts in Nepal by awarding funding to the ASK Foundation to provide tele-medicine services for COVID-19 patients in rural areas. Canada also recently contributed to Nepal’s fight against COVID-19 via grants of $1 million to the Red Cross and $1.5 million to UNICEF. In addition, a Canadian Armed Forces flight carrying donated medical supplies will soon be on its way. Canada stands with our friend and partner Nepal in its fight against COVID-19.”

Ask Foundation: ASK Foundation is a locally registered NGO carrying out health and education programs across Nepal. It will lead the project in collaboration with the COVID Alliance for Nepal. The organization has previous experience in delivering humanitarian assistance in large-scale disasters such as the 2015 earthquake and the 2017 Koshi River floods.

Canada Fund for Local Initiatives: The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) provides modest funding for small-scale, high-impact projects in more than 120 countries. Projects are planned and implemented mainly by local organizations, and are selected and approved by the Canadian Embassy.

Grants to the Red Cross and UNICEF: Canada's recent donation of $1 million in humanitarian aid to the Red Cross supported Nepali health care providers in responding to COVID-19 in Nepal, and its $1.5 million grant to UNICEF enabled the procurement of oxygen concentrators, essential medicines and medical equipment to assist Nepal in its fight against COVID-19.

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