After the devastating earthquake, which shook Nepal in 2015, the Government of Japan took an instant step to extend support for relief and reconstruction works to facilitate fast recovery for the Nepalese people.
Health is one of the numerous sectors in which Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been supporting Nepal, besides transportation, energy, water and sanitation, education, peace building, governance and agriculture. The earthquake severely damaged Paropakar Maternity Women’s Hospital (PMWH) located at Thapathali, Kathmandu. To address the need, through the Program for Rehabilitation and Recovery from Nepal Earthquake (RRNE), Japan provided Grant Assistance of JPY 4 billion (approximately Rs. 4 billion) for the reconstruction of the main building of PMWH, expansion of Bir hospital, 3 bridges on the way to Barpak, Gorkha and water transmission project in Sindhupalchowk.
Moreover, after the appointment of the contractor, the reconstruction work started on October 18, 2017. The new building was timely handed over to the Ministry of Health and Population on May 15, 2019; and was inaugurated by Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli on July 12, 2019. On the occasion, together with the Prime Minister, His Excellency Ambassador of Japan to Nepal, Masamichi Saigo unveiled the curtain of the plaque, which states that it is a 'Token of Friendship' and 'Cooperation between Japan and Nepal'.
Pursuing the principle of Build Back Better, for creating a resilient society to cope with future disasters, JICA aims to support the provision of safe and quality health services to the people of Nepal through the reconstruction of these infrastructures. Compared to the old building, various functionalities have been enhanced, so that a seamless flow of obstetric care can be provided; while a part of the building is designated for scholastic activities.
Furthermore, the new structure will provide effective and efficient services to more women, mothers, and babies receiving standard medical facilities from this hospital and will serve as a model hospital for Nepal, which combines quality medical services and disaster preparedness.
By Sudeep Bahadur Singh
Reconstruction and Recovery Coordinator/Consultant
JICA, Nepal Office