Nepal on the brink
By a senior SIM worker | south-asia
Photo by Alexander Aashiesh, Unsplash.
When Adish and Sonu* lie in bed at night, they can hear the wailing of the ambulances returning to the private hospital near their house. It seems there’s a never-ending stream of patients needing care, 24 hours a day.
As Nepali pastors they are careful when they visit the sick, and they only go to the market to buy vegetables twice a week. Pre-COVID, this was an everyday ritual to get the freshest vegetables. They are scared to leave their home, and when I talked with them last night, they sounded dejected.
The virus' rapid spread has raised fears that Nepal is on the brink of a crisis just as devastating as India's – if not worse, because Nepal has a fragile health system, with fewer doctors per capita than India, and a lower vaccination rate than its neighbour.
The fact that, at the moment, 44 per cent of all COVID tests in Nepal turn out to be positive, suggests not nearly enough people are being tested. Last year's COVID toll was scary, but that is nothing compared to this latest spike. The government newspaper says that the current lockdown could be for 4 months.
Pastor Adish tells me he has just lost his good friend Pastor Tulsi*. They had studied and were on outreach together. Tulsi leaves behind his wife, daughter, son and congregation. Last week he was well, but during the week he developed a sore throat and was admitted to hospital. Two days later, he was dead.
Many people in their church are sick and need care but cannot afford to go to the government hospital, let alone the private hospital. A night in a government hospital costs $250; in a private hospital it is $575. The private hospitals still have oxygen, but patients at government hospital must obtain oxygen bottles elsewhere. On top of that come bills for the doctor, nurses and medication. A labourer receives $7/day, a teacher $300/month.
Will you pray with us for the Lord to reach into this situation to provide hope and healing?
• For Adish and Sonu as they minister to the sick and grieve those they’ve lost. Ask God to sustain them in his strength and to comfort them.
• For Pastor Tulsi’s family and congregation as they mourn him.
• Those ill, hungry, or unemployed throughout the county.
How to help
Your help is needed to pay for hospital bills, for masks, but also for food as people are without work – even government jobs that seemed secure are not so anymore, because there is not enough money to pay wages.
Please consider contributing and providing relief to the hurting and hungry. Go to our donation portal and use project 98581 for COVID Relief.
*All names changed