The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) today received Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Reproductive Health kits in addition to other medical supplies through United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

As many as 6,048 sets of PPE, 50,000 pairs of examination gloves, 50,000 pieces of surgical masks, and 27 sets of Inter-Agency Reproductive Health (IARH) kits – which will augment government's efforts to combat Covid-19 pandemic while ensuring continuity of essential reproductive health and gender-based violence response services – were handed over to the Ministry.

The PPE, IARH kits and other supplies worth approximately Rs 30 million were procured by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) with the financial support of the People's Republic of China under the existing south-south partnership initiative between Nepal, China and UNFPA, according to UNFPA.

The IARH kits are comprised of essential drugs, supplies and equipment that enable service providers to ensure safe deliveries, manage obstetric complications as well as cases of sexual violence in health facilities.

The supplies were handed over to MoHP Chief Specialist Dr Roshan Pokhrel by UNFPA at an event organised at the ministry today. Present on the occasion were senior government officials and other partners.

After receiving the kits, Dr Pokhrel said, "We are committed to ensuring continuity of essential reproductive health services for vulnerable women and girls during Covid-19 pandemic. Our concerted efforts have been to combat Covid-19 and much of our financial and human resources have been focused on this goal with very good results. Hence, the support of our development partners at this critical time is very much appreciated as the needs are significant. We are grateful to the People's Republic of China for their generous support and UNFPA for facilitating this contribution."

The MoHP will distribute the PPEs and other supplies to prioritised health facilities across the country. "Ensuring health workers have the support and supplies needed to provide safe sexual and reproductive health services can be a matter of life and death for women and girls. Despite the progressive policy environment in Nepal, preventable maternal deaths and prevalence of gender-based violence continues to be very high compared to other countries in the region. The support from the People's Republic of China is highly appreciated and the MoHP efforts to combat complex health challenges during Covid-19 are commendable," said UNFPA Country Representative Lubna Baqi.

Earlier in April last year, 1,200 sets of PPE kits, 2,400 sets of body bags, 300 pairs of gumboots and 3,600 pieces of hand sanitizers were handed over to the Government of Nepal, also under the same south-south partnership initiative.

UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person's potential is fulfilled.