UNFPA hands over 1,200 PPE kits to Nepal government

KATHMANDU: The United Nations Population Fund has handed over 1,200 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits, fulfilling its commitment to support the government in its efforts towards containing the coronavirus outbreak.

In a press statement released today, it said that the kits, including surgical masks, N95 masks, face shields, eye goggles, head and shoe covers, long-sleeve impervious gowns, disposable bags and gumboots -- worth Rs 30.48 million -- were donated by the Government of China, under the Nepal, China and UNFPA south-south partnership initiative.

After receiving the PPE kits, the Director of the Management Division, the Department of Health Services under the Ministry of Health and Population, Bhogendra Dotel said, “These PPE kits arrived in a timely manner and will greatly help in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We thank UNFPA and the Government of China.”

Assuring the commitment of the organisation, alongside that of WHO and other UN agencies working in Nepal, UNFPA Country Representative for Nepal, Lubna Baqi said, “With more people in need of testing and treatment amid the increasing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, it is critical to protect the frontline health workers. Attention should be given to their work environment as well as their health and pschosocial needs at this time.”

In addition to PPE kits, UNFPA has provided Dignity Kits, containing 14 different items such as soap, reusable menstrual pads, and other essential items for women and girls, to address the immediate hygiene and protection needs of women and girls in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, in coordination with the government and local partners.

The UNFPA representative alerted about the higher risk of intimate partners violence and other forms of domestic violence during the period of outbreak and prompted to use services offered by One Stop Crisis Management Centres, shelter and safe houses, helplines.