WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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PERSPECTIVE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 9-14

Health-sector responses to address the impacts of climate change in Nepal


1 Nepal Health Research Council, Kathmandu, Nepal; Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2 Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Goethe University; Faculty of Social Sciences, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
3 World Health Organization Country Office for Nepal, Kathmandu, Nepal
4 Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Meghnath Dhimal
Nepal Health Research Council, Kathmandu, Nepal; Institute of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.213795

PMID: 28857057

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Nepal is highly vulnerable to global climate change, despite its negligible emission of global greenhouse gases. The vulnerable climate-sensitive sectors identified in Nepal's National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) to Climate Change 2010 include agriculture, forestry, water, energy, public health, urbanization and infrastructure, and climate-induced disasters. In addition, analyses carried out as part of the NAPA process have indicated that the impacts of climate change in Nepal are not gender neutral. Vector-borne diseases, diarrhoeal diseases including cholera, malnutrition, cardiorespiratory diseases, psychological stress, and health effects and injuries related to extreme weather are major climate-sensitive health risks in the country. In recent years, research has been done in Nepal in order to understand the changing epidemiology of diseases and generate evidence for decision-making. Based on this evidence, the experience of programme managers, and regular surveillance data, the Government of Nepal has mainstreamed issues related to climate change in development plans, policies and programmes. In particular, the Government of Nepal has addressed climate-sensitive health risks. In addition to the NAPA report, several policy documents have been launched, including the Climate Change Policy 2011; the Nepal Health Sector Programme – Implementation Plan II (NHSP-IP 2) 2010–2015; the National Health Policy 2014; the National Health Sector Strategy 2015–2020 and its implementation plan (2016–2021); and the Health National Adaptation Plan (H-NAP): climate change and health strategy and action plan (2016–2020). However, the translation of these policies and plans of action into tangible action on the ground is still in its infancy in Nepal. Despite this, the health sector's response to addressing the impact of climate change in Nepal may be taken as a good example for other low- and middle-income countries.


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