Karnali Province developing health infrastructure amid pandemic


When the spread of coronavirus began in the country, there were only 17 ICU beds and six ventilators in the health facilities of Jumla and Surkhet. The biggest hospital in the province did not have adequate ICU beds and ventilator service.

Currently, Province Hospital, Surket, and Karnali Academy of Health Sciences, Jumla, have 62 ICU beds and 26 ventilators.

Similarly, there are 20 ICU beds at a Birendranagar hospital. The number of ventilators has also increased to 10.

KAHS has developed infrastructure with the support of Karnali Province. There were only three ICU beds then, now there are 10.

According to the Ministry of Social Development in the province, there were no ICU beds nor ventilator service except in Jumla and Surkhet, before COVID-19. Patients had to be sent to Surkhet. Currently, all district hospitals except in Dolpa of the province have ICU and ventilator service. Preparation is under way to install ventilator there as well.

Health Service Division at the ministry informed that the Province Hospital would be upgraded to a 300-bed facility by adding infrastructure. Similarly, every district hospital will be upgraded to 50-bed health facility.

Minister of Social Development Dal Rawal has said COV- ID-19 has given special opportunity to invest in the health sector. “The hospitals which had no ICU and ventilator for long since their establishment now have these services thanks to efforts made in the last five months. This is a huge achievement indeed,” he observed. Not only physical infrastructure, but also medical equipment and necessary human resources were managed over this period.

Health workers at the ICU and ventilator service will be provided training.

As per the Province Health Directorate, special treatment is now available at 27 health facilities in the province.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 7, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.