42 districts get Rs1 million each to prevent cold-related deathsThe Home Ministry has allocated the grant to 22 districts in the Tarai and 20 in the mountains and hills.
In a bid to prevent deaths from the cold wave and snowfall, the Ministry of Home Affairs has allocated Rs1 million each to 42 districts—22 in the Tarai and 20 in the mountains and hills.
The Home Ministry move comes following temperatures across the country beginning to fall.
“We have allocated the funds to the districts to save people from the cold wave and cold-related problems,” Sambhu Prasad Regmi, chief of National Emergency Operation Centre, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, told the Post. “The concerned security agencies will distribute warm clothes to the needy.”
The ministry, which claimed that no one died due to the cold wave last year, has been working to prevent the possibility of such deaths, this year too. It has conducted several meetings with concerned security agencies and other ministries, including officials at the Office of the Prime Minister on the matter.
According to Regmi, his office has requested officials at the Office of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers to direct Chief Minister Offices of all seven provinces to take necessary measures to save the vulnerable people.
Likewise, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration have been asked to direct all local units throughout the country to take the necessary steps.
Sagar Dahal, chief of Health Emergency Operation Centre at the Health Ministry, said that his office has started necessary preparations following the meeting with the Home Ministry. “We have directed concerned officials to ensure the supply of medicines for cold-related ailments, check the storage of the medicines and relay messages that warn against the cold-related ailments. Problems like winter diarrhoea, pneumonia, asthma rise in the winter,” said Dahal. “Such ailments kill people. We have issued the directives, accordingly.”
The Health Ministry has been operating 10 medical storages throughout the country. Dahal said that his office has also requested provincial and local-level governments to ensure purchases of all essential drugs at the earliest.
The Health Ministry has been allocating budget to buy essential medicines to local levels after the implementation of federalism and three tiers of government—at federal, provincial and local levels—came into force.
Meanwhile, the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division has alerted health workers serving across the country about a possible outbreak of cold-related ailments. “More people die of cold-related ailments instead of the cold,” Bishnu Gautam, an official at the division, said. “We have cautioned our health workers and issued public messages on how to avoid cold-related problems.”
Previously, more than two dozen people used to die from cold waves every year, according to the Home Ministry.