PRIME responds to psychosocial needs of post-quake Nepal

2 Jun 2015 - 12:00

Contributor: Nagendra Luitel

It has been over a month since Nepal was struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April 2015, which was followed by another earthquake of 7.3 magnitude on 12 May 2015.

To date, the death toll has risen to 8,400 with more than 17,000 injured. Psychosocial problems such as sleeping disturbance, fear, alcohol dependency, heart palpitations, loss of interest and hopelessness have been seen in many of the survivors. Experts in this field have stated that the disaster not only resulted in physical and human losses, but also in mental health problems.

Though the destruction was comparatively less in Chitwan than in other districts, the psychosocial well-being of the population has been negatively affected. The problem is even worse among children - some have started experiencing symptoms of sleeplessness, while others have become fearful and angry without any apparent cause.

Thus, in co-ordination with the concerned stakeholders such as the district public health office (DPHO), District Education Office (DOE), District Women and Child Office and other government bodies, the PRIME Chitwan team has been responding to this disaster by addressing the psychosocial well-being of the population.

So far, the PRIME team has conducted a one day orientation on the WHO recommended Psychological First Aid (PFA) in 14 different areas to 488 teachers. Additionally, the team also provided 7 individual psychosocial support to the patients of Narayani Hospital assessed with psychosocial problems.

Furthermore, art therapy was conducted among 17 children of an orphanage called 'Rise up Home for Children' and individual counseling was also provided to children who were more fearful.