Govt targets to restore at least 446 health facilities in 6 monthsAs the government launched reconstruction works on Saturday, the Ministry of Health has set an ambitious target of completing within six months the reconstruction of several hundred health facilities
As the government launched reconstruction works on Saturday, the Ministry of Health has set an ambitious target of completing within six months the reconstruction of several hundred health facilities destroyed or damaged by the April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks.
Of the total Rs14.7 billion identified in the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report for the health sector, Rs6.5 billion will be immediately available for reconstruction. The National Reconstruction Authority has already earmarked Rs1.5 billion for the reconstruction of health facilities, with the Health Ministry pledging an extra Rs1 billion for the purpose. The development partners have agreed to spend an additional Rs4 billion for rebuilding health facilities.
The Health Ministry has estimated that the country’s health sector suffered a loss of Rs3.28 billion in the April 25 earthquake. According to the PDNA report, a total of 446 public health facilities (consisting of five hospitals, 12 Primary Health Care Centres, 417 Health Posts, and 12 others) and 16 private facilities were destroyed, leaving another 765 health facilities or administrative (701 public and 64 private) structures partially damaged. Nearly 84 percent of the health facilities had been destroyed by the Great Earthquake in the 14 most-affected districts.
Mahendra Shrestha, chief of Policy, Planning and International Cooperation Division, said the government would focus on rebuilding the health facilities destroyed in the 14-worst affected districts. The government also plans to begin the prefab reconstruction of health posts and primary health care centres.
“Since these are the ground-level health facilities, it is essential that we begin their reconstruction as soon as possible,” said Shrestha.
Apart from prefabs, he continued, the temporary construction would focus on massive use of local materials while also generating employment for the people living in the areas.
Similarly, many bi-lateral donors and I/NGOs have reached an agreement of over Rs4 billion to reconstruct health facilities, mainly district hospitals and PHCs.
Shrestha said the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Nepal has agreed to construct the damaged buildings of Bir Hospital and Maternity Hospital at Thapathali in the Capital, while German Development Cooperation (KfW) has pledged support to rebuild hospitals in Gorkha, Manang, Dolakha and Ramechhap. Korea International Cooperation Agency has agreed to rebuild Nuwakot District Hospital, while Chautara District Hospital will be reconstructed by the China government and the US Agency for International Development will rebuild Barabise PHC in Sindhupalchok.