Kathmandu: On the request of the Government of Nepal, the Government of India on Monday handed over the first tranche of 20 kidney dialysis machines to Nepal. The Government of Nepal had requested India for a total of 200 kidney dialysis machines as patients in Nepal had been longing for them for months.

Indian Ambassador to Nepal Naveen Srivastava handed over the first tranche of kidney dialysis machines to Nepal's Minister for Health and Population Padam Giri in a ceremony.

"The Government of Nepal, about a year and a half back had requested the Indian Government for 200 kidney dialysis machines. It is a moment of immense pleasure for us that we are handed over with the first tranche of 20 machines," Naveen Srivastava, Indian Ambassador to Nepal said.

"The remaining 180 machines will be handed over in the coming days. We also hope that these machines would contribute to strengthening Nepal's health infrastructure," remarked Indian Ambassador while addressing the event.

He said that India is not only a neighbouring nation but also a trusted developmental partner of Nepal. India and Nepal have been working together in various fields of developmental works, amongst it the health sector is pivotal.

Further ambassador Srivastava said, "There are many bilateral projects that have been carried out in coordination between the two nations in Nepal, Nepal- India friendly Emergency and Trauma Center in Kathmandu, the first trauma centre with specialized facilities, BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences- Dharan, OPD Complex at Bir Hospital. After the 2015 earthquake, we have built 132 health posts across Nepal."

The government of Nepal started Bipanna Nagarik Kosh after the 2006 People's Movement to provide financial relief to people suffering from serious ailments that are too expensive for treatment. Cancer, renal failure, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, head and spinal injury, sickle cell anaemia, and stroke are covered under this programme.

But due to the lack of enough dialysis machines patients are compelled to wait for weeks and months to get a round of dialysis. The Government of Nepal has allocated over 2 billion Nepalese currency to NRS(Nepal Realistic Solution) for the treatment of eight serious ailments out of the total amount allocated for the treatment of eight diseases, over 52 per cent is spent on kidney disease.

Apart from free dialysis services, the Health Ministry provides financial assistance for transplantation and medication.

Over 50 hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis centres run by non-governmental organizations throughout the country have signed agreements with the Health Ministry to provide free service.

Around 6,000 patients having renal failure have been taking free dialysis services throughout the country.

"From India, kidney dialysis machines are being handed over to Nepal. I thank his Excellency Indian Ambassador, the Government of India and the people of India," said Padam Giri, the newly inducted Health Minister of the Himalayan Nation.

Further adding, the Nepali minister also remarked that India's neighbourhood first policy had left a remarkable impact on the people of Nepal.

"Relation between Indian and Nepali people is interconnected in terms of social, economic and cultural. This is our historic aspect. India also keeps its neighbours first policy which is an additional benefit for us. We have been working on various projects together and the work we are undertaking for the upliftment of the health sector is really something to cherish for."