Emerging Health Problems in Nepal
Health problems are universal truths of human existence. Scientists, researchers, lab technicians, microbiologists, medical doctors, public health experts serve as various defense lines to stop it from getting worse. Within the ‘hustle and bustle’ in daily activities, health problems are also emerging rapidly, especially the non communicable diseases. Gone are the days when non communicable diseases were only for the developed nations. Some of the rapidly emerging health problems in Nepal are:-
1. Skin infections: Skin infections are a common and quite neglected problem in the world. “Skin diseases are among the most common of all human health affliction and affect almost nine hundred million people in the world,” according to the WHO. In developing countries, household overcrowding is the main cause. In addition, exposure to harmful UV rays, exposure to harmful minerals like arsenic (especially in Terai region), growth of causative agents in tropical regions etc. are the causes.
2. Zoonotic diseases: Covid-19 is a self of zoonotic disease. Animals can sometimes carry harmful germs to people and cause illness. Sometimes they even mutate to survive on the human body. It becomes easier for mutation because of the close evolutionary connection of the human body with the animal. It gets transmitted through direct, indirect, vectors, food, water etc.
3. Helminthic infestations: Helminthic infestations are common in the world. According to WHO, approximately 1.5 billion people are infected with soil transmitted helminths worldwide. Over 267 population preschool children and over 550 school-age children live in areas where parasites are intensively transmitted which are present in human faeces. 4.Chronic diseases: Chronic diseases are leading causes of death and disability worldwide. According to the WHO, it is expected by 2020 that 73% of all deaths and 60% of the global burden of the diseases are due to chronic diseases. 89% of the deaths are attributed to these diseases in developing countries.
5.Mental health issues: Mental health issues are one of the underrated health problems especially in the developing countries. It is seen and heard frequently now, during the lockdown period. Suicide is among top 20 leading causes of death worldwide with more than malaria, breast cancer or war and homicide. Close to 800000 people die by suicide every year. Loneliness, depression, self harm, harmful activities, abuse, anxiety, fear, acrophobia etc. are common mental health problems.
6. Road traffic accidents: Approximately 1.35 million people die each year as result of road traffic crashes. 90% of the world's fatalities occur in low and middle-income countries, even though these countries have approximately 60% of the world’s vehicles. It is the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 52-29 years.
7.Bronchitis: Bronchitis is inflammation of the mucous membrane in the bronchial tubes causing bronchospasm and coughing. Acute bronchitis is common to all the world and one of the top 5 reasons for seeking medical care.
8. Substance abuse: Substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of alcohol and drugs. According to the WHO, on average every person in the world young people aged 15
years or more drinks 6.2 litres of pure alcohol every year. Some 31 million people have drug use disorders.
9. Cardiovascular diseases: Alcohols, drugs and addictive behaviours are responsible factors for cardiovascular diseases. According to WHO, 17.9 million people die each year for cardiovascular diseases and estimated 31% of all that worldwide, more than 75% of cardiovascular disease occur in low-income and middle-income countries. Cardiovascular disease is the no. 1 cause of death globally.