Covid-19 pandemic has brought improvement in Makwanpur’s health sectorThe local government has given due priority to the health sector in the current fiscal year.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected almost all sectors in Makwanpur district. Development activities have been halted, various targeted programmes disrupted and sports activities and education of thousands of children put on hold. However, the pandemic has brought about a much-needed improvement in the health sector of the district, say locals.
In light of the pandemic, authorities have upgraded several health institutions and added human resources to them. Health offices, which used to be short-staffed, are now fully functional with health officials present in their duty stations, according to the District Health Office.
“Health facilities in the district, which often had shortages of essential medicines and human resources, are now well stocked with health workers present every day” said Tek Prasad Lamsal of Makwanpurgadhi.
Hetauda Sub-metropolitan City has set up health institutions in all 19 wards to provide various health services to the people. Hetauda Hospital, the major hospital in the provincial headquarters of Bagmati Province, has enhanced its health facilities as well.
“The hospital will initiate dialysis services within a week. We are also working on installing six ventilators for the treatment of Covid-19 patients,” said Dr Prabin Shrestha, chief at the hospital. “We have extended health services since the pandemic took hold of the nation.”
So far, critical Covid-19 patients are referred to Chitwan and other places due to a lack of ventilators in the district.
According to Shrestha, both the federal and provincial governments and the local units have been providing help to enhance the institutional capacity of Hetauda Hospital.
According to Bidur Lamichhane, the in-charge of Makwanpurgadhi Health Post, preparation is underway to set up a 15-bed isolation ward in the health post.
“The local unit has already appointed two officials to run the isolation ward. The ward will come to operation soon,” he said.
Similarly, authorities are all set to upgrade a primary health centre in Palung of Thaha Municipality to a 15-bed hospital.
“We could not upgrade the primary health centre to a hospital in the past due to a lack of funds. The provincial government this year has allocated Rs 6 million and the federal government Rs 1 million to upgrade the health facility,” said Mayor Labasher Bista.
All 10 local units in Makwanpur district have prioritised the health sector in the current fiscal year. Health services have been improved in remote rural municipalities like Raksirang and Manahari. The local units have appointed health officials in their respective areas and extended their health services.
“All the local bodies have set up their own isolation wards to provide treatment to coronavirus patients. Though the pandemic crippled development activities in other sectors, it has brought improvement in the district’s health institutions,” said Raghunath Kulal, chief at the District Coordination Committee in Makwanpur. He said the pandemic has made the people’s representatives realise the importance of a robust health sector.
“The health sector, which was often ignored in the past, has been given due priority to combat the virus threat,” he added.
A total of 3,413 coronavirus cases have been reported in Makwanpur with 562 active cases. According to the District Health Office, 28 people have died of Covid-19 in the district so far.