WHO / NEPAL COVAX COVID-19

06-May-2021 00:05:07
The first COVAX shipment of 348,000 doses of AstraZeneca ‘Covishield’ vaccines safely arrived in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu before being distributed to provinces and municipalities across the country. WHO
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STORY: WHO / NEPAL COVAX COVID-19
TRT: 5:10
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: CREDIT WHO ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: NEPALESE / NATS

DATELINE: 25 MARCH 2021, ON WAY TO JUMLA, KARNALI PROVINCE, NEPAL / 26 -27 MARCH 2021, JUMLA, KARNALI PROVINCE, NEPAL
SHOTLIST
1. Various drone shots, UN/WHO vehicle driving on road from Kalikot to Jumla

25 MARCH 2021, ON WAY TO JUMLA, KARNALI PROVINCE, NEPAL

2. Various shots, WHO driver, Laxmi Thapa Magar, driving

26 MARCH 2021, JUMLA, KARNALI PROVINCE, NEPAL

3. Various shots, Laxmi, talking to people from village
4. Med shot, woman from village wearing mask
5. SOUNDBITE (Nepalese) WHO driver, Laxmi Thapa Magar:
“I get the opportunity to blend with the locals. I listen to what they have to say, observe their activities. Since I am a female driver, most of the people pay attention to me.”

27 MARCH 2021, JUMLA, KARNALI PROVINCE, NEPAL

6. Close up, Laxmi’s hands showing location on map
7. Various shots, Laxmi speaking with WHO Field Medical Officer, Dr Romen Ranjit, about trip
8. SOUNDBITE (Nepalese) WHO Field Medical Officer, Dr Romen Ranjit:
“People ask me where the doctor is, assuming that I am the driver and take Laxmi as the visiting doctor because people do not normally accept that there are female drivers and that they are employed to drive in this region. That is one memorable fact.”
9. Various shots, Laxmi washing vehicle

26 MARCH 2021, JUMLA, KARNALI PROVINCE, NEPAL

10. Wide shot, Laxmi putting on WHO jacket.

27 MARCH 2021, JUMLA, KARNALI PROVINCE, NEPAL

11. Wide shot, Laxmi and Ranjit entering car.

26 MARCH 2021, JUMLA, KARNALI PROVINCE, NEPAL

12. SOUNDBITE (Nepalese) WHO driver, Laxmi Thapa Magar:
“Since we work in the emergency department for COVID-19, we generally don’t know when and where we will be going. It’s all a bit last minute. Therefore, we sit together and plan for the day.”
13. Close up, Ranjit writing in notebook.
14. Med shot, Ranjit talking to District Hospital Service medical staff.
15. Wide shot, Laxmi seated next to Ranjit as he speaks to District Hospital Service medical staff.
16.Med shot, Laxmi listening.
17.Close up, District Hospital Service medical staff member holding dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
18. Wide shot, Ranjit and District Hospital Service medical staff member inspecting cold chain for COVID-19 vaccines.
19. Various shots, District Hospital Service medical staff member showing Ranjit a location on map of Jumla’s cold chain supply.
20. Wide shot, exterior of District Hospital Service.
21. SOUNDBITE (Nepalese) WHO driver, Laxmi Thapa Magar:
“Talking about the impact of COVID-19, due to lack of mass awareness, there’s this general misconception that COVID-19 only hits certain places in Kathmandu, Biratnagar and India. There is a lack of awareness on precautionary measures such as maintaining physical distance, using masks and sanitizers. This information has been broadcast over television and radio. Some people have never seen a television in their lives.”
22. Various shots, Laxmi talking to women in the street near District Hospital Service.
23. Wide shot, Laxmi talking to elderly woman who got vaccinated against COVID-19.
24. SOUNDBITE (Nepalese) Elderly man from Jumla, Norbue Lama:
“We are happy that we finally have the vaccine. However, it is saddening to learn that only elderly people above 60 are prioritized at the moment. It is actually disappointing. I have just returned from the rural municipality. And to my inquiry they answered: ‘It will eventually come to us once prioritized population is addressed.”
25. Various shots, village life in Jumla.
26. Wide shot, houses on hill.
27. Various shots, stupa on hill.
STORYLINE
The first COVAX shipment of 348,000 doses of AstraZeneca ‘Covishield’ vaccines safely arrived in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu before being distributed to provinces and municipalities across the country.

On 7 March, the vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), together with 350,000 syringes and 3,500 vaccine safety boxes arrived in the capital city, making Nepal among the first countries in Asia to receive COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility, which will contribute to the government’s efforts to vaccinate some of the most vulnerable people across Nepal.

COVAX-supported vaccines provide a critical contribution to the Government of Nepal’s National Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP) target to vaccinate roughly 22 million people, among them refugees, migrant returnees and other migrant populations. With the generous contribution of the Government of India, Nepal was able to commence the vaccination campaign and to date, 429,705 people have been vaccinated. WHO Nepal team members such as driver Laxmi Thapa Magar are key to reaching vulnerable people in the remote provinces of Nepal.

Helping in that effort is Laxmi Thapa Magar, the first WHO female driver in the country. Together with Dr Romen Ranjit, they drive to districts in Nepal’s remote Karnali province to check the preparedness of local hospitals and clinics to receive the vaccines.

SOUNDBITE (Nepalese) WHO driver, Laxmi Thapa Magar:
“I get the opportunity to blend with the locals. I listen to what they have to say, observe their activities. Since I am a female driver, most of the people pay attention to me.”

Being a female driver in Nepal is quite uncommon but Laxmi knows how to blend in and put village locals at ease, which helps her better understand and engage with them on topics such as vaccine hesitancy.

SOUNDBITE (Nepalese) WHO Field Medical Officer, Dr Romen Ranjit:
“People ask me where the doctor is, assuming that I am the driver and take Laxmi as the visiting doctor because people do not normally accept that there are female drivers and that they are employed to drive in this region. That is one memorable fact.”

Before working for WHO, Laxmi ran a driving school for ten years and owned a restaurant on the side, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, both her businesses suffered. She then moved to eastern Nepal and became an ambulance driver. But because of COVID-19 fear, she was denied housing by a landlord. Laxmi always wanted to be a driver and applied for the position at WHO thinking she would not get the job. Now, she’s an essential part of getting COVID-19 vaccines to people in Nepal.

SOUNDBITE (Nepalese) WHO driver, Laxmi Thapa Magar:
“Since we work in the emergency department for COVID-19, we generally don’t know when and where we will be going. It’s all a bit last minute. Therefore, we sit together and plan for the day.”
The goal of the COVAX Facility is to supply Nepal with enough doses to vaccinate 20 per cent of the population depending on funding availability. Under the first COVAX allocation, the COVAX Facility will deliver 1.92 million vaccine doses to Nepal by the end of May 2021, in support of the Government of Nepal’s nation-wide vaccination campaign.

Laxmi says she is proud to be a driver and part of WHO. She actively tries to raise awareness on COVID-19 infection prevention and address popular misconceptions around the virus.

SOUNDBITE (Nepalese) WHO driver, Laxmi Thapa Magar:
“Talking about the impact of COVID-19, due to lack of mass awareness, there’s this general misconception that COVID-19 only hits certain places in Kathmandu, Biratnagar and India. There is a lack of awareness on precautionary measures such as maintaining physical distance, using masks and sanitizers. This information has been broadcast over television and radio. Some people have never seen a television in their lives.”

Nepal was one of the first countries in the world to have launched COVID-19 vaccination efforts in January 2021. The arrival of the COVAX supplied vaccines will boost Nepal’s vaccination efforts as it coincides with the launch of the second phase of the vaccination campaign which targets those who are most vulnerable to developing severe illness from COVID-19 including the elderly and people with comorbidities. The second phase will also target teachers, as part of the expanded group of frontline workers.

SOUNDBITE (Nepalese) Elderly man from Jumla, Norbue Lama:
“We are happy that we finally have the vaccine. However, it is saddening to learn that only elderly people above 60 are prioritized at the moment. It is actually disappointing. I have just returned from the rural municipality. And to my inquiry they answered: ‘It will eventually come to us once prioritized population is addressed.”


COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and WHO working in partnership with developed and developing country vaccine manufacturers, UNICEF, PAHO Revolving Fund, the World Bank, and others. It is the only global initiative that is working with governments and manufacturers to ensure COVID-19 vaccines are available worldwide to both higher-income and lower-income countries.
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