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FEATURE STORY March 18, 2021

In the Frontline


Sabrina Dangol/World Bank Nepal

Ganga Humagain, Associate Nursing Controller

Ganga Humagain is the Associate Nursing Controller at Tribhuvan University, Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu. With over 34 years of experience in the profession, she considers March 2020 and the ensuing months to be one of the biggest challenges of her nursing career along with the 2015 earthquake. 

Managing adequate nursing staff in the COVID ward and the intensive care unit (ICU), was a logistical and personal challenge, she says. In the early days of the lockdown, the shortage of PPE kits for front line staff meant that they had to come up with their own creative ways to protect themselves. The mixture of fear and uncertainty was a hard time to deal with for Nurse Humagain and her staff. 

Nurse Humagain lived in the staff quarters, away from her family for 10 months during the peak of the pandemic. She returned home only last month. She says it was partly due to the fear of infecting her family and partly due to the paranoia of neighbours and the community who were aware of her job in the COVID ward. 

She is cautiously optimistic about the way things are now. The number of patients has decreased with only six in the COVID ward and none in the ICU.

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This story is one of 23 stories spotlighting women from Nepal who are breaking the mold through their stories of resilience, hope, and grit amid the COVID19 pandemic. Read all the stories here.