Rs 14.7 million required for health, population sector

KATHMANDU: In the aftermath of quakes, the total recovery needs for the health and population sector is estimated to be Rs 14.7 billion.

According to Post Disaster Needs Assessment published by National Planning Commission on Tuesday, out of the total need, Rs 195 million is required immediately, mainly for resumption of services in the affected areas and particularly for temporary structures on rent, drugs and supplies, prevention of outbreak of vector-borne diseases and treatment of those affected by the earthquakes.

Implementation of such activities has already been initiated by the Ministry of Health and Population.

The budget for the intermediate term (over fiscal year 2015-2016) and medium term (fiscal year 2015-2016 to 2019-2020) needs are estimated to be Rs 1.3 billion and Rs 13.1 billion, respectively.

PDNA said a comprehensive plan of activities has been developed for the continuation of treatment of the injured, regularisation of service delivery, repair and reconstruction of damaged health facilities, and to make the sector better prepared for future disasters.

Of the overall budgetary needs, the district level needs are 57.2 per cent, while the rest is accounted for by central level needs. As part of recovery strategy, the MoHP has adopted a three pillar strategy for recovery and reconstruction in the immediate term (until mid-July 2015), intermediate term (over the fiscal year 2015-2016) and medium term (fiscal year 2016-2017 to fiscal year 2019-2020) implementation framework.

The health and population sector has been severely affected as is evident from damage and losses to health infrastructure and disruption of healthcare service delivery.

A total of 446 public health facilities (consisting of five hospitals, 12 Primary Health Care Centres, 417 Health Posts, and 12 others) and 16 private facilities were completely destroyed and a total of 765 health facilities or administrative (701 public and 64 private) structures were partially damaged.

Nearly 84 per cent (375 out of 446) of the completely damaged health facilities are in the 14 most-affected districts. As a result, the ability of health facilities to respond to health care needs has been affected and service delivery is disorganised. Consequently, vulnerable populations, including disaster victims, were further disadvantaged in accessing health services in remote areas, PDNA reported. A total of 18 health workers and volunteers lost their lives and 75 were injured, adding further challenges in the delivery of health services.

Similarly, the existing capacity of the MoHP in general, and that of concerned District Public Health Offices and health facilities in particular, have been stretched to ensure the resumption of disrupted health services as well as to coordinate with concerned agencies and stakeholders for the management of increased case load for treatment, including trauma cases.