With Nepal facing a COVID-19 catastrophe along with its neighbour India, Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) is today launching an appeal for urgent funds towards emergency medical supplies, health care and support for the Himalayan nation.
Donations will be bolstered by Australian Government funding on a 5:1 basis – for every dollar donated, the government will contribute $5.
Last week, Nepal reported 9070 daily infections of COVID-19 – its highest ever rate, while 47 per cent of COVID tests are coming back positive. International news media outlets are reporting that Nepal’s health system is overwhelmed by cases of the virus and that medical supplies have run out.
On 6 May, Lutheran World Federation’s Nepal team, supported by our LCANZ family through ALWS, delivered supplies including hospital beds, Intravenous fluid stands, face shields and surgical masks to Jhapa Rural Municipality. Jhapa borders India, and so is in the frontline COVID danger zone, according to ALWS Community Action Manager Jonathan Krause.
Jonathan said the equipment would be part of a 20-bed Isolation centre the local government is setting up. ‘It is essential because two people in this small area have already died from COVID-19, and another 29 are in home isolation’, he said.
‘As with all ALWS work in Nepal, aid is offered to all. You help people regardless of religion, gender and politics and your care is focused on those who are most vulnerable because of age, disability or status in community – the precious people who too often are forgotten.’
He said while in Australia there are 3.59 doctors per 1000 people, in Nepal, a country of 30 million people, there are just 0.7 doctors per 1000. Nepal has 1600 intensive care beds, while Australia has 2378 for its population of 25 million. Australia has one ventilator per 5000 people, while Nepal has one per 50,000 people.
To donate to the ALWS Nepal COVID Appeal, click here.