According to WHO, “Health is a state of complete, physical, mental and social well-being and not merely an absence of disease or infirmity.”
Being a medical student, I got such a glorious opportunity of exposure in the ward where I met the various clients during my postings. At hospital, we can majorly find the physically ill patients at orthopedic, surgery and medicine ward. Whereas at the psychiatric ward, one can hardly find a mentally sound patient. Likewise at a community, we can often see people having adjustment problems. So in this context none of the people are healthy. Well to be frank till now I have never seen a healthy person that meets the definition of ‘health’ given by WHO.
Over viewing the health scenario of Nepal, health care services are being provided by both the public and private sector and is aided poorly by the International standards. Based on WHO data, Nepal ranked 139 life expectancy in 2010 with the average Nepali living to 65.8 years. Disease prevalence is higher especially in rural areas with leading diseases and illness that includes diarrhea, gastro intestinal disorders, goiter, intestinal parasites, leprosy and tuberculosis.
· Despite of these, there are some improvements in health care, most notably its significance lies in maternal child health. i.e. Mortality rate during childbirth: from 850 in 100,000 mothers in 1990 to 280 in 2011.
Under- five infant mortality: from 162 per 1000 live births in 1990 to 50 in 2011.
Child malnutrition: from 70% in 2011 to 38.8% in 2009.
HDI: from 0.291 in 1975 to 0.428 in 2010 ranking Nepal 141 out of 172.
TB and Leprosy are the two big fields that Nepal has come across far a lot. As mentioned earlier, various NGO’s and INGO’s are working in the field of leprosy in Nepal. In EDR and FWDR, Netherlands Leprosy Research Center (NLR) has been carrying out the developmental works. Similarly at CDR Leprosy Mission Nepal (LMN) and Nepal Leprosy Trust (NLT); likewise at WDR and MWDR International Nepal Fellowship (INF) has been working. Previously there were three category regimen of TB. But now the cat III regimen which includes extra pulmonary cases is being merged within cat I regimen thereby existing only two regimen.i.e. cat I and cat II.
Few weeks earlier we had an institutional visit to the Netherlands Leprosy Research center (NLR), Biratnagar. Thence, we collected the recent datas of Leprosy of the fiscal year 068/069 of the EDR. It shows the untreated cases detected were 168, new case (multi bacillary 437 and pauci bacillary 429) and thereby making a total of 866. Relapse Failure Treatment (RFT) contributes 830. By 2050, WHO had a mission to eradicate leprosy and TB worldwide. Nepal is also working for the fulfillment of the target in a satisfactory speed.
Eventually, we all say that “Health is wealth”. But have we ever thought of the time we spent at maintaining the health status as compared to the time spent in collecting money. If we do not rightly identify the significances of health right from the individual level itself, then the definition of health will be limited only According to WHO “Health is….”
Author: Nabina Karki