Samjhana is a mother of three children who does everything she can to support her family. With little land of the family’s own, Suman, Samjhana’s husband, had been the main income-earner, working as a seasonal labourer in India.
However, eight years ago, he became paralysed and unable to work, leaving Samjhana as the family’s provider, labouring on any available jobs.
Samjhana became infected with COVID-19 while working at a construction site. Lack of access to health facilities and the family’s precarious finances compounded her distress. “We struggle to get basic medicine. Oxygen and ventilators are far from our reach.”
As well as the health impact and loss of income, Samjhana had to contend with stigma about her COVID-19 positive status. She says, “I was hurt by the way people treated me and my family as if we had committed a crime.”
INF, working with local health authorities, helped to establish an isolation centre for people in the area who were infected with COVID-19. Through centres like this and community programs, INF provides psycho-social support, community education, food relief packages and medical care.
At this isolation centre, Samjhana received consolation and care from the nurses and was relieved to experience less severe effects of COVID-19. Leaving the centre, she says, “I am thrilled to see my children and husband again. More than for myself, I have been worried about them.”
Like Samjhana, many people are struggling during Nepal’s second wave of COVID-19. As the disease spreads and enforced lockdowns disrupt jobs and income, many families are falling further into poverty and vulnerability.
With your help, together we can support families like Samjhana’s.