Covid-19 did not spare Nepal, where the Government imposed a second lockdown at the end of August, due to the continuous increase of contagion, currently more than 35.000 people infected.
From an economical point of view, the quarantine and the safety measures suggested by the WHO are badly affecting the poorest families and the most vulnerable subjects of the society, such as women and elderly people.
Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and menstruant women do not have their personal privacy, they cannot access maternal assistance, hygiene or personal care which are fundamental during the menstruation. This happens because they cannot afford sanitary pads which in the middle of the health emergency are still not considered a staple. This is even more true for those women who work in the health-care sector. Since they always have to wear the personal protective equipment, they cannot frequently and rapidly change their sanitary pad, therefore they wear it more hours than recommended or take pills to stop their cycle.
The pandemic has also minimized the access to the markets and blocked home services for pregnant women, nursing mothers and newborn who need vitamins and specific micronutrients, threatening their health and exposing them to the risk of malnutrition.
In order to promote and protect women’s dignity and health, through the Radha Paudel Foundation, PRO.SA is intervening in two different ways. First, it is supporting the distribution of care packages for pregnant women and new mothers and of medical kits containing sanitary pads and menstrual cups for isolated women and for those who are at the forefront in the fight against the virus, but it is also trying to raise awareness among the community. PRO.SA Foundation, in fact, is broadcasting radio spots and distributing informative brochures about menstrual cycle and reproductive hygiene, but also about covid-19 and the safety rules to prevent it from spreading.
Another category at risk are the elders, who are facing a massive psychophysical decline due to the social distancing. Bihani Social Venture, founded to help adults and elderly reinventing themselves and reintegrating into the society starting from their precious experience, is pursuing a new project called “Wrinckles and smiles”.
A unique project addressed to 367 old people who live in a care home, alone or in jail, whose goal is to be sure that none of them is left behind, abused or suffers from solitude and hunger because of social distancing and isolation, although necessary to stop the virus.
The project is based on three main objectives: the digital inclusion which consists in giving the elderly the competences and the tools needed to interact with the society (relatives and contemporaries), sharing their own experiences through social networks and online platforms. Regular contact and communication with the elders so that they do not feel abandoned, which includes a psychosocial support offered by a team of experts, also addressed to the medical staff. Mutual help among the organizations which collaborate with Bihani in order to reach all the elders and provide them with food, medicines, treatments and whatever they need to live decently.
PRO.SA Foundation, always next to the most vulnerable ones, is supporting the purchase of care packages and sanitary kits for prisoners and old people living alone; the purchase of food, medicines, soaps and sanitizers for the patients of the care home and it is also paying the salaries of the medical staff that takes care of them.