Country Health Profile - Nepal

Nepal Country Health Policy : TRENDS IN HEALTH STATUS

 

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*      Life expectancy

The life expectancy at birth has increased from 55 years for males and 53.5 for females in 1995 to 58.9 years (both male and female) in 2001/2002. The reduction in IMR has been a major contributory factor. The main constraints have been illiteracy, difficult terrain, lack of trained manpower, and limited resources.

*     Mortality

The registration of vital events is grossly inadequate in Nepal. Lack of data does not allow a realistic assessment of either mortality or morbidity. However, based on hospital data (1998/99), five leading causes of mortality were reported as Pneumonia, other cardio-pulmonary diseases, encephalitis/meningitis, septicemia and diarrhoea.

*     Morbidity

Information on morbidity is unreliable and is not classified by age or sex. The main causes of morbidity reported for 1999/2000 were skin diseases, diarrhoeal diseases, acute respiratory infections, intestinal worms, gastritis, pyrexia of unknown origin, ear infection, chronic bronchitis, anemia and abdominal pain.

*     Disability

The disabled are the most vulnerable and neglected group in Nepal. A survey in six districts estimates the prevalence of disability at 3%. The main disabilities are visual impairment (cataract and vitamin A deficiency) and hearing loss (suppurative otitis media). Preventive programmes associated with disability include vitamin A supplementation, iodization of salt, EPI, and prevention of accidents. The Association for the Disabled and the Association for the Welfare of the Blind have launched national programmes to educate the population regarding disabilities. The main constraints are the low priority given to disability, poverty, and inadequate health care provision.

 

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WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia